Updated 08/02/2012 05:07 PM
Union Fork and Hoe fire ruled accidental
The county's emergency management office confirms it was sparks from tools being used by contractors working inside one of the Union Fork and Hoe buildings that ignited the flames. Our Sarah Blazonis visited the site of the former tool manufacturer and has more on the long road ahead.
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FRANKFORT, N.Y. -- It was a long 24 hours for fire crews in the Village of Frankfort. Almost a full day after fire sparked at the former Union Fork and Hoe Company, the buildings continued to smolder.
"Throughout the night, we had a couple crews down here. They continued throughout the night to put out hot spots and flare ups that they had throughout the scene here. We're still putting out the hot spots," said Matthew Palumbo, assistant fire chief for the Frankfort Fire Department.
And while the main challenge of dousing the relentless flames is over, a lot of work remains.
Smoke and particles were visible floating through neighborhoods around the site and air quality was a concern. The buildings had stood here for more than 100 years and crews were recently in the process of removing asbestos and other contaminants.
"We do have DEC on site. They're doing the monitoring to make sure the air quality is good, checking to see if there's any contaminates that they can spot on the ground itself," said Mayor Frank Moracco.
Also on the scene were state fire officials, working to piece together the chain of events that lead to seven buildings going up in flames.
While the area the destruction covers may look daunting, state fire investigators say they've narrowed down the place where they think the fire started, simplifying their job.
"We compare what we've been able to determine from interview information and now we try to corroborate that with actual, physical evidence by looking at the scene, whether it be burn patterns, artifacts," said Deputy Chief Randy Shadic with the State Fire Office Inspections and Investigations Unit.
Demolition plans were in the works for some time before the fire. Mayor Moracco said officials were in the process of bringing in machinery to tear some of the buildings down.