Tuesday

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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No new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday, N.S. introduces more improvements in testing

Premier Stephen McNeil announced that Nova Scotia is introducing more improvements in COVID-19 testing after reporting no new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday. 



Stephen McNeil wearing a suit and tie


© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan


“Testing is an important part of the public health measures,” said McNeil. “Our testing strategy has been working very well, but there are always improvements we can make. These changes will allow people to be tested easier and faster.”

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Read more: No new cases of COVID-19 reported in N.S. on Monday

According to McNeil, the IWK Health Centre will expand its primary assessment centre to double its capacity and increase the speed of testing for children. The expansion will be fully operational by the third week of October.

The IWK will also start using the gargle test on Wednesday to diagnose COVID-19 in children ages four to 18.

The province said the gargle test is a more comfortable test for children. Once it has piloted the process, the gargle test will soon be available for children at all primary assessment centres.

Read more: Hosts charged after RCMP disperse 3 Antigonish parties with more than 50 people

With online COVID-19 self-assessment now in place, online booking for testing appointments will also be established.

“It will dramatically reduce the wait time to book an appointment. The online process will take about 10 minutes, down from 24 to 48 hours,” the province stated.

The province announced other improvements, including:

Expanding most primary assessment centres around the province with larger locations, longer hours and more staff so that Nova Scotians can get tested faster.

Increasing lab capacity in Halifax to process 2,500 tests per day by mid-November.

Adding equipment in Sydney in early November to eventually process tests instead of sending them to Halifax.

“Testing is a key part of our overall COVID-19

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