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  • Buffalo, NY Warehouse

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A city warehouse that once held toxic
    chemicals was destroyed in a fire Sunday that caused $7.5 million
    in damage and melted the vinyl siding on nearby homes.
    The block-long, single-story warehouse was reduced to rubble and
    blackened wreckage. The heat from the flames melted the building's
    steel beams and by afternoon piles of warped beams, bricks and a
    white powdery substance were all that was left of the structure.
    Fluorescent orange liquid poured from the building and into the
    streets, flowing beneath the cars in a nearby used car lot and
    creating a puddle behind the building. An caustic odor hung in the
    air around the fire scene.
    "It looked lije$a big fireball from one end of the building to
    the other," Robert Vitko, who watched the blaze across the street
    from his home, told The Buffalo News. "It was one solid mass of
    flame ... an inferno."
    The fire broke out shortly before 3:22 a.m. Firefighters were
    still at the site Sunday afternoon.
    Officials said the fire may have started in a car, parked in a
    pathway between the warehouse and the building next door. Edwin
    Orta, a fire marshal and senior investigator, said the cause of the
    fire probably won't be determined for several days.
    Buffalo Common Council member Joseph Golombek Jr. noted that a
    three-alarm blaze on April 15 gutted a former manufacturing plant
    in the same area and caused $1.5 million in damage. Two men are
    charged with setting that fire. Fire investigators suspect a recent
    fire at a former driving range was also the work of arsonists.
    Golombek said he plans to contact state environmental officials
    about Sunday's blaze.
    The builing, formerly known as Morgan Materials, operated as a
    brokerage for more than 30 years, taking in chemicals such as dyes,
    resins, lubricating oils and flavoring agents then testing and
    repackaging them for resale.
    Nearly 21,000 drums of hazardous chemicals were removed from the
    building four years ago as part of a federal Superfund project.
    Michael Franks of the state Department of Environmental
    Conservation was at the site to confirm that the Environmental
    Protection Agency had removed all hazardous chemicals from the
    warehouse.
    Police Division Chief Thomas Ashe said he was told by the
    building's manager that the colored liquid flowing out of the
    warehouse was caused by food dye and that no hazardous chemicals
    were in the building. Ashe said rubber was the only material of
    concern.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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