Fire

Marcella’s Clearance Center in Schenectady, planned for renovations, damaged in Tuesday fire; Owner responds

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Business, News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — Not even three weeks after announcing plans to renovate his Crane Street appliance store, John D. Marcella is trying to figure out if the building is salvageable after a fire broke out there Tuesday morning.

The fire was called in at the 810 Crane St. building at around 8 a.m. Tuesday. The initial cause is believed to be water seeping into a light fixture, Marcella said.

The century-old building serves as a clearance outlet and a warehouse for the larger headquarters of Marcella’s Appliance Center down the hill on Broadway, as well as a smaller Clifton Park retail location.

In late September, Marcella’s announced it would renovate the façade and other parts of the Crane Street building. The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority announced it would provide a $50,000 façade grant for the project, which it said would boost the ongoing city-county effort to revitalize the Crane Street corridor.

As a first step, Marcella said, he had the roof partly replaced over the last two weeks at a cost of more than $40,000.

The first employees arrived at the location around 7 a.m. Tuesday, he said. They smelled something odd inside but couldn’t track down its source.

The origin became very apparent an hour later, when flames erupted through the roof, Marcella said.

The workers escaped harm. The building did not. Firefighters got the blaze out in about an hour, officials said. One firefighter suffered minor injuries, officials said, but no other injuries were reported.

“What a mess,” Marcella sighed Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t believe it’s restorable right now. … All the walls are shot and all the electric is shot.”

Beyond that, 150 new appliances were damaged.

The engineering and architectural plans for parts of the project were completed

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Hot shots: Book looks at history, homes of St. Louis Fire Department | Joe’s St. Louis

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The notion that there is at least one book about any subject under the sun is given credence by a new release from STL’s Reedy Press:

“St. Louis Fire Stations.”



"St. Louis Fire Stations"

“St. Louis Fire Stations” (Photo by Reedy Press)


Released on Oct. 1 and anchored by some never-before-seen photos, the book details the stations of the city fire department from the early 1800s to some still in operation today.

Historical note: The St. Louis department is the second-oldest professional fire department in the U.S. It was formed out of volunteer units in 1857, four years after Cincinnati. 

Along with the photos, there are histories of the stations and information about the personnel who worked there and the types of equipment used.

The photos in the book also show some of the department’s more unique facilities, such as the Horse Hospital and the 1904 World’s Fair Fire Station.

The book was written by Robert Pauly, the department’s historian and curator of the St. Louis Fire Department Museum. Many newer photos come from Capt. Dennis J. Maag of the Mehlville Fire Protection District in St. Louis County.

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Glass fire 95% contained after burning nearly 800 homes in California’s Napa, Sonoma counties

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Glass fire, a destructive wildfire that burned close to 800 homes in California’s North Bay area and forced tens of thousands to evacuate after sparking in extreme wind late last month, is almost fully contained.



a person that is lit up at night: Thomas Lo, a member of a San Jose Fire Strike Team keeps watch from the roof of an outbuilding as a slow burning section of the Glass Fire burns near a home in St. Helena, CA, on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.


© Anda Chu/San Jose Mercury News/TNS
Thomas Lo, a member of a San Jose Fire Strike Team keeps watch from the roof of an outbuilding as a slow burning section of the Glass Fire burns near a home in St. Helena, CA, on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

With temperatures cooler, humidity higher and winds calmer, crews have made great progress in recent days, boosting containment to 95% on the nearly 67,500-acre fire, Cal Fire said in a Monday morning update.



a couple of people that are on fire: A firefighter removes items from a garage as they battle a fire at a home along Tucker Road in Calistoga, CA, on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. The Glass Fire, already the fifth largest of the 23 major fires burning in the state, has engulfed 58,880 acres in the North Bay and damaged or destroyed nearly 400 buildings.


© Anda Chu/San Jose Mercury News/TNS
A firefighter removes items from a garage as they battle a fire at a home along Tucker Road in Calistoga, CA, on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. The Glass Fire, already the fifth largest of the 23 major fires burning in the state, has engulfed 58,880 acres in the North Bay and damaged or destroyed nearly 400 buildings.

Cal Fire reports activity on the Glass fire is “limited” and says firefighting resources are being “demobilized,” according to a Sunday evening incident report. Fewer than 900 personnel were assigned to the incident as of then, down from well over 2,000 much of last week.

Limited evacuation orders and warnings remain in place for isolated areas within Napa and Sonoma counties, but the vast majority have been lifted, allowing residents to repopulate most of the region. Napa County is holding a virtual community recovery meeting at 4 p.m. Monday to provide residents with resources and information on how to safely return home after the fire.

The Glass fire started early in the morning on Sept. 27 as separate

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Fire erupts, homes evacuated in Georgia train derailment

LILBURN, Ga. — A train derailment in metro Atlanta early Sunday sparked a small fire, created runoff concerns and briefly forced some residents from their homes, a fire official said.

The CSX train with about 170 cars, including three locomotives, ran off the tracks in Lilburn, according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

The fire involved “hazardous materials,” spokesperson Justin Wilson said. The agency shared photos on social media of smoky air over buildings in the city northeast of downtown Atlanta.

It was unclear what exactly the train cars were carrying but crews were continuing “atmospheric monitoring” after evacuation orders were lifted around 6 a.m. Evacuations had begun around 2 a.m.

Two employees involved in the derailment were able to get to safety and were being evaluated for possible injuries, the agency said in a Facebook post. No injuries were immediately reported.

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3 years later, Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice after contractors allegedly fail to rebuild homes

It has been three long years since Sonoma County’s Tubbs Fire nightmare.

3 years later, Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice in alleged home rebuild fraud

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It feels like yesterday to those who survived.

For a crowd gathered with signs outside the Sonoma County courthouse Friday morning, it feels more like an eternity.

“I’m still not over it. PTSD for three years, now,” said Ellen Lencher.

She and others in the crowd lost homes in the fire and money, they say, to Sal and Pam Chiaramonte.

RELATED: Santa Rosa contractor Chiaramonte Construction responds to complaints about rebuilds of homes destroyed in Tubbs Fire

The contractors from Tulare County promised to rebuild 39 houses at Central Valley prices. They did not deliver on most of them.

“And even after the time the realized they would not be able to do what they promised, they continued to take money from people,” said attorney Richard Freeman, who represents many of the victims in a civil suit.

Friday’s scheduled court appearance provided the first time that many of the Chiaramonte’s customers had seen the couple since signing their papers.

The contractors answered no questions.

“No we are not allowed to say anything,” said Sal Chiaramonte, though he and his wife did hear an earful.

VIDEO: ‘Two years stronger together:’ Tubbs Fire survivors reflect on firestorm anniversary

“Scumbag. You’re not even man enough to look at us,” shouted one man in the crowd.

“We’re not going away,” added another.

Elsewhere, the Santa Rosa Fire Department rang a ceremonial bell 24 times in honor of 24 lives lost that night.

More than 5,000 homes burned. Almost a quarter of them were in Coffey Park, where the Chiaramontes set up shop, as Pam told us in the spring in 2019.

RELATED: Tubbs

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