Fire engulfs big Albion warehouse

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Orleans Pallet used site to rebuild wooden crates, pallets

ALBION – A massive blaze that engulfed an old warehouse full of wooden crates and pallets has firefighters worried about buildings next door, including Empire Coatings.

Orleans Pallet worked out of the site at the corner of Hamilton Street and Route 31. The building is a towering warehouse made of Medina sandstone in 1901. It was originally the Albion Cold Storage Company.

The building seemed sturdy two hours after the fire ripped through the site. But firefighters said Empire Coatings was very close by next door in a building with chemicals and volatile compounds. If the warehouse toppled to the side and landed on Empire Coatings, firefighters worried it would ignite a chemical explosion.

Empire Coatings owns the white building directly next to the warehouse on fire.

Haz-Mat teams were on scene. Residents and onlookers, including reporters, were all directed to create at least a half-mile perimeter away from the fire in case of a chemical explosion.

The fire broke out at about 4 p.m. A huge plume of dark smoke could be seen as far away as Batavia and Spencerport. There were at least five ladder trucks on the scene at one point, although several were unmanned because of the intense heat from the blaze. A hose was mounted to the top of the ladders to try to douse and slow the fire.

Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni told Albion residents to keep their windows and doors closed, and he shut down the streets near the fire.