Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Fire at former Camillus Cutlery building

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Fire at former Camillus Cutlery building
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Crews battled a fire at a historic building in Camillus. Flames could be seen shooting through the roof of the former Camillus Cutlery building. Maintenance work was underway at the time. Our Iris St. Meran has more.

CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- The former Camillus Cutlery building have been part of the community for more than 100 years. Monday, neighbors watched in shock as flames took over the building.

"I grew up in Camillus and driven by this every day. And it's kind of like a memory spot of Camillus and now it's burning down," said Camillus resident Tom Brennan.

After the knife maker closed its doors in 2007 it was vacant for a few years. Sweet Spot Development bought the property and intended to turn it into office space. Renovation work was underway Monday.

Department of Emergency Management Commissioner Kevin Wisely said, "There were some maintenance workers that were inside preparing the structure for some future portions of that were going to be demolished and during that operation something ignited the fire which it consequently spread to the walls."

Everyone did get out of the building safely. But crews from Onondaga and Cayuga County had their hands full getting it under control because the age of it and what was inside.

"It's an old heavy timber construction building. It was vacant for a number of years. A lot of oil soaked timbers from years of processing," said Wisely.

Heavy black smoke filled the neighborhood and could be seen from the highway. Fire companies were told to battle it from the outside.

"It's really something just to see the cloud of smoke, see the fire burning," said Steven Kaminski of Camillus.

Emergency personnel are probably going to be there into Tuesday morning. Police are asking the community to avoid this area for the next twelve hours. And residents may experience a temporary decrease in water pressure because everything going on here.

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