Crews Respond To Fire Inside Industrial Building

P-J photo by Eric Tichy

A fire inside an industrial building kept city crews busy Saturday morning.

Members of the Jamestown Fire Department were alerted shortly before 9 a.m. to 1070 Allen St., home to Industrial Metal Finishing. Smoke was found coming from the property’s windows when firefighters arrived.

According to Richard Howells, owner of the building and metal finishing business, the fire was apparently sparked by an electric heater on a 300 gallon water tank that was inadvertently left on Friday afternoon. After enough of the water inside the tank evaporated overnight, the heater caught fire and spread elsewhere.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Howells said. “Thankfully the fire department got here quickly and put it out.”

Jamestown firefighters pictured on scene at 1070 Allen St. after a fire was reported at the industrial building Saturday morning. Crews were on scene for several hours. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Howells purchased the former Crawford Furniture warehouse about six years ago and has been in the process of moving the metal finishing business inside. He has owned the operation for about 15 years.

At least one firefighter was transported by Falconer ambulance to UPMC Chautauqua for treatment of undisclosed injuries while battling the fire.

County hazmat members were called due to “unknown chemicals” inside the industrial building.

City fire crews were assisted by Falconer and Kiantone volunteer fire departments as well as Chautauqua County EMS and the fire coordinators. Members from Lakewood filled in at the department’s City Hall station.

Firefighters were on scene well into the afternoon.

Howells said two water tanks and electrical equipment were damaged in the fire, though the building itself was fine. He said it could take a week or two to make repairs.

“There are a lot of local businesses that depend on us,” Howells said. “I’m hoping to have everything running again in a couple of weeks. … I’m glad our neighbors saw the smoke and called it in. We’re very fortunate.”

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