NORTH COLLINS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A three-alarm fire on Eagle Street in North Collins ripped through a construction company Thursday morning.
The fire was reported just after 3 a.m. and crews were still on the scene six hours later. The structure, which was owned by log home builders, Timberbuilt, was a total loss.
Fire officials say most of the building had already collapsed when they arrived, and the tin roof that fell on all the lumber in the wood shop made fighting the flames that much more difficult. Eventually, fire crews brought in an excavator to sift through the rubble to allow them to hit hot spots with water.
The weather created additional challenges for crews on the scene. The wind fueled the flames and the cold air quickly turned a lot of the water to ice. One firefighter injured his knee after slipping on ice, but we are told he will be okay.
Fire officials say everyone who responded to the fire did well out there. “They did a very good job under the conditions. We had to call extra manpower in just because it was a lot of intense work, a lot of hose laid out,” explained Keith Ayers, the 2nd Assistant Chief for the North Collins Fire Department.
Ayers also pointed out that crews on the scene had to deal with a propane tank that was venting when they arrived. The firefighters were able to move it away from the flames to a safe distance before ultimately hauling it away from the property.
The fire company called the Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s Fire Investigation Unit to the scene to search for the cause of the fire.
Timberbuilt posted a statement regarding the fire on Facebook:
“It is with a heavy heart this morning that I must release some unfortunate news. Our company suffered a devastating fire during the overnight hours. We lost our shop and our office. We’d like to thank all of the fire departments, local businesses and volunteers that are reaching out and giving us a helping hand. We are so very grateful. Success is about getting back up, not how you fall down. We have clients to serve, and houses to build. We will forge ahead! We rebuild the only way we know how. Artful. Rugged. Green. Timberbuilt.”