Tools

Family's resilience overcomes tragedy of fire

By JOLEEN FERRIS

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) - Fred Burrows' phone rang at midnight on Thursday, and Five minutes later, he was at the family business, Burrows & Sons Trucking & Excavating, watching fire consume a large storage facility that housed 23 dump trucks.

"There's not a lot of things that could bring you to your knees but that was one of them," said Burrows.

Fire struck the storage facility on Route 69 in Whitesboro, around 11:30 Wednesday night.

As he watched the massive fire consume the storage building, Fred Burrows' thoughts quickly turned to the clients who were depending on him.

"I took about an hour to gather my wits and comprehend and by 1:00 we had people here and figuring out what we had to do because by 5:00 we had commitments to honor and make and, which we did, and we'll continue to do," Burrows said.

It wasn't just the fact that the nearest hydrant was 2000 feet away that made this fire a challenge. Explosions were heard up to a mile and a half away.

"Well, you've got diesel in the fuel tanks, you've got air tanks on all the dump trucks for their air pressure for their air brakes, you've got ten wheels on each dump truck so certainly a lot of the explosions were tire-related," says Whitesboro Fire Chief Peter Sobel.

Burrows says the outpouring of support from the community has brought his family great comfort during this heartbreaking time. He's already thinking about rebuilding - right on the same spot.

"We're not going anywhere," Burrows said. "We're lifelong residents of the community, we own this property, we're not going anywhere and we've got a lot of people that depend on us for work."

What's On