Fire crews called back to Charlestown scene

Fire crews were called to the scene of the Charlestown fire again following a 911 call. Utica fire said a Masonic employee saw some smoke and flames coming from the wreckage.

Posted: Aug 29, 2020 6:35 PM

UTICA, N.Y. --- Fire crews were called to the scene of the Charlestown fire again following a 911 call. Utica fire said a Masonic employee saw some smoke and flames coming from the wreckage.

Fire crews arrived and sprayed down hot spots that are still smoldering throughout the entire structure. 

Later on Saturday afternoon, Frankfort-Center was called to the scene along with Clayville Fire Department. Crews then shut down a portion of Bleecker Street to allow fire crews to spray down hot spots.

Frankfort-Center chief Freid Distafano said the building is very unstable and is worried about people trying to get inside of the structure.

"The integrity of this whole complex is gone. So somebody can get in there and this building can come down on them and unfortunately, they're going to lose their lives in there, said Distafano.

The chief added that Herkimer County 911 has received a number of calls from people driving by claiming to see what they think is smoke coming from the building. The chief said unless you see flames don't call 911.

"Passerbys need to understand that we're aware of what's going on with the building. They don't have to call 911 every time they see what they think is smoke. You have heat underneath and it's cold at night. Steam looks like smoke and you get somebody driving by, and they call 911. Then you get the fire department out here and it turns out to be just the steam."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Firefighters estimate a total of 5.5 million gallons of water have been used to fight the fire. A number that is expected to rise as more hotspots flare-up.

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