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January 1, 2010

Dannemora Town Highway Garage destroyed by fire

Fire consumes town Highway Garage, road equipment

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DANNEMORA — Fire destroyed the Town of Dannemora Highway Garage New Year's Day morning.

Lyon Mountain Assistant Fire Chief Ron Chase said the large, metal structure is a total loss. That includes almost all of the department's equipment.

The fire was reported at 9:30 a.m. The building was fully involved when firefighters arrived. Thick black smoke could be seen for miles.

When firefighters arrived the garage was already collapsing, so they decided on a strictly exterior attack.

"There were major explosions when we got on scene," Chase said. "It's over a million dollars damage, they (town officials) figure."

Dannemora Town Supervisor Americo Pivetta said this was quite a first day on the job.

"They lost everything — all their tools, three trucks and a loader," said Pivetta, who Jan. 1 took over from outgoing supervisor Barbara Douglas.

The garage also housed all of the department's records, Pivetta said. The town has insurance, but it can be a lengthy process as adjustors conduct their investigation.

No one was at the building at the time, Chase said, but some crews had returned from plowing about an hour before the fire began.

He said some highway department members who live nearby were able to pull an old plow truck and one-ton pickup with a plow from a secondary building that was saved. Lyon Mountain firefighters were assisted by the Dannemora, Ellenburg Depot, Ellenburg Center, Churubusco, Saranac, Mooers and Altona fire departments. A crew and equipment from the Cadyville Fire Department was on standby.

Lyon Mountain was back in service at about 2:30 p.m.

The fire remains under investigation. Chase said fire investigators from the Albany area were on the way.

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