A Buffalo Road business in Gates was heavily damaged by fire late Friday night as firefighters battled single-digit temperatures as well as the blaze.
The Gates Fire District received a call at 11:36 p.m. reporting a building fire at 999 Buffalo Road. The building is home to UpState Metrology Inc. According to the company’s website, it was founded in 1992 as a calibration and testing service company.
“Upon arrival, we found very heavy fire conditions in the rear of the structure,” said Gates Fire Chief Jim Harrington. “It is a large garage operation in the rear. Heavy fire conditions with extension up into the attic and it transferred into the front of the building.”
Harrington said the building, which is two stories in places, housed a large garage in the rear and office space out front.
“Around back the walls burned right through,” Harrington said. “We’ve got a concern with some structural integrity and a potential collapse. We have established collapse zones on what we call the “Charlie side” or the rear end of the building. We’re trying to keep our guys of of harm’s way by just using hose streams to reach and knock down the remainder of the fire.”
Harrington said the single-digit temperatures were causing problems.
“We’ve got firefighters who are extremely wet and they are going to ice up,” he said. “With the water not moving we’ve got the potential for fire hydrants to freeze up, hoses to freeze up. Just getting picked up and back in service is going to be labor intensive.”
Harrington said the fire was called under control about 1 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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(PHOTOS COURTESY OF LISA BUBEL)