Demo crew takes down house from Albion fire

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2020 at 11:41 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Metro Environmental in Niagara Falls uses an excavator to knock down a house a 221 West State St. in Albion today.

The house is one of three that were badly damaged in a fire on Dec. 5. This house suffered the most damage and village officials wanted it taken down because it posed a threat to the neighborhood, said Kevin Sheehan, the village’s code enforcement officer.

“This house is a danger,” Sheehan said. “It’s a hazard. They are knocking it down and taking it away.”

The neighboring houses on each side also may be removed. Insurance adjusters are reviewing those structures. Sheehan said they don’t pose an imminent threat to the neighborhood, like the one at the corner. The village closed off a section of the East Academy Street in front of the house, out of concern the structure might topple.

Before Metro Environmental started knocking down the house, the village was able to assure the company the site was cleared of explosives after the FBI and ATF checked the scene.

The fire started when a resident, Gary Tarr, was testing fireworks he made in the garage at 221 West State St. Tarr mixed compounds with fireworks in the garage and lighted a small portion of one to test it, Albion police said. That set off a series of explosions, destroying the garage with the fire spreading to the three houses. Tarr faces felony charges of reckless endangerment and arson.