ADVERTISEMENT

ALBION – A demolition crew Friday tore down what remained of the Orleans Pallet Co. after fire crews had spent most of the day putting out hot spots at the century-old three-story stone building at West Avenue and Hamilton Street.

A fire began at about 4 p.m. Thursday as an owner of the company and a worker were handling a grinder device on the second floor. The machinery sparked a fire that filled the Albion skies with smoke most of Thursday evening and prompted officials to keep nearby residents in their homes for fear that the fire would spread to the adjacent Empire Coating Co., which houses toxic chemicals on the site, including methyl chloride.

Albion Fire Chief Rocky Sidari, who had crews from nine fire companies in four counties working on the fire Thursday, said he was grateful there were no serious injuries, but said he felt bad for the owners of the company.

“I believe there was no insurance on the back half of the building, which was pretty empty,” Sidari said. The fire chief said he thought the company was in the process of clearing out and demolishing the rear of the building at the time of the fire.