An emergency demolition was ordered for a 100-year-old City of Tonawanda building housing an auto sales and repair business that was extensively damaged Tuesday in a fire, officials reported.
Firefighters were called to Swiderski Motor Car at 294 Fletcher Street around 5:35 p.m. Tuesday and encountered intense fire on the right side of the structure, said Tonawanda Fire Chief Charles Stuart. Tires and petroleum products fed the blaze, which spread throughout the building causing the roof to collapse and forcing firefighters to set up defensive operations, he said.
Firefighters were also hampered by three frozen, inoperable fire hydrants, which led to a delay in establishing an adequate water supply, Stuart said.
The fire was brought under control in about two hours but crews remained on scene for another two hours to overhaul several hotspots, he said. No injuries were reported and damage was estimated at $100,000.
Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire was accidental and due to improper use of an oil-burning stove used for heating purposes, Stuart said.
The Sheridan Park, North Tonawanda, Grand Island, Kenilworth and Brighton fire companies also assisted.