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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All residents accounted for, at least 20 homes damaged, in massive fire at Lake Ohau

Eleven helicopters and seven ground crews are battling a massive fire at Lake Ohau which has devastated the township destroying dozens of houses.

Fire and Emergency incident controller Graeme Still said the fire was burning over approximately 1600 hectares.

Sill flew over the fire ground on Sunday afternoon and estimated at least 20 homes have been damaged or destroyed in Lake Ohau Village.

Still said an Urban Search and Rescue team will be deployed to make a full assessment of the village.

* Holidaymakers flee as fire engulfs homes in Lake Ohau
* Remote Lake Ohau an increasingly popular place

“All residents are accounted for, and we will have crews in the village overnight in case of any flare ups.

“Due to the high winds it has so far been unsafe for residents to return to their homes to assess damage. “I am very mindful of how upsetting it is for the residents. Their safety is our main concern at this time,” Still said.

Charlie O’Mannin/STUFF

Burned countryside near Lake Ohau as helicopters work to contain a blaze that has destroyed many homes.

Crews are working to steer the fire away from other structures and critical infrastructure, including the main power lines servicing Queenstown and Wanaka, he said.

High winds meant the fire had not yet been contained, and he said the situation could change rapidly with any shift in the wind, he said.

Two diggers and a grader were also being used to create firebreaks to help safeguard critical infrastructure.

The fire has devastated the Lake Ohau village.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

The fire has devastated the Lake Ohau village.

Residents and holidaymakers fled in the middle of the night as the large forest fire bore down on the alpine village in the Waitaki District about 3am on Sunday. The blaze, the biggest of several burning around

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Bobcat Fire has damaged or destroyed at least 115 homes and continues to burn with 84% containment

The Bobcat Fire has damaged or destroyed at least 115 homes and dozens other structures as it continues to burn through the Angeles National Forest after igniting nearly a month ago, officials said Saturday.

Firefighters have largely gained the upper hand on the blaze, which had burned 114,963 acres, or 179.6 square miles, and was 84% contained as of Saturday morning — up from 75% two days ago.

Aided by strong winds and insufficient firefighting resources, the Bobcat Fire advanced on the Antelope Valley foothills in mid-September, ripping a path of destruction along the way.

Completely destroyed are 87 homes and 83 other buildings. The fire has also damaged 28 more homes and another 19 structures. Many of the homes destroyed were in the Juniper Hills area.

“The number of damaged and destroyed buildings may rise as damage assessment teams continue to gather accurate data from properties spanning over 114,900+ acres,” officials said in the federal InciWeb page.

On Saturday, the fire was expected to mainly smolder in the hot areas but stay within its existing burn footprint, where crews planned to spend the day mopping up, patrolling and improving containment lines.

But at an interior island northeast of Mt. Wilson, a pocket of fire will continue to consume another 300 acres within the fire control lines in an area with steep, rugged terrain that has been difficult for firefighters to access.

“Heavy smoke may be visible during peak heat hours as this internal island of fuel burns,” fire officials said.

Crews will be patrolling the area and looking out for fire spotting and other alarming behavior in temperatures over 90 degrees and low humidities.

Firefighters struggled to contain the fast-moving fire early in the battle as flames tore through extremely dry and rugged brush, set trees ablaze and spotted

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