Community coping after devastating fire in Palmyra

Posted at: 05/04/2013 7:54 PM
Updated at: 05/04/2013 11:19 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Six businesses, 15 apartments and a lot of history are all destroyed after a fire ripped through a community in Palmyra.
A fire department captain tells News10NBC this is the worst fire he's seen in a decade.

The only good news is that everyone managed to get out safely.
It's the day after the fire and on Saturday people in Palmyra are getting a good look at the damage.
News10NBC is told the fire broke out on the third floor of a large building on East Main Street, which is also Route 31. The first call came in just after 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
It took firefighters almost five hours to get the fire under control.
On Saturday the community is coping. It was not a typical day on East Main Street. The fire is all this community can think about and it's something they will be talking about for a very long time.

Fire officials say since the roof collapsed, it's safe to say the majority of the building is at a complete loss.

With East Main Street being such a popular street with so many businesses and apartments, this historic area may never look the same again.
The Palmyra community woke up to absolute devastation on Saturday.
Fire officials have kept the area completely blocked off. They have urged residents to stay away from the rubble.
However, that did not keep people away. Many onlookers came to see the damage for themselves, many saying they saw the smoke from miles away and wanted to check it out.

Fire officials say the cause is under still under investigation. All they know is they believe it started from the third floor, but until they find out what ignited this fire, this community will have to continue to stick together.

News10NBC spoke to witnesses Saturday. One woman was working at a bar when fire officials told them to evacuate. The fire stopped right before it got to the bar.

“I mean, it's amazing. I didn't know. I was waiting for a phone call this morning to see if I was still going to have a job. I knew we didn't burn down, but I didn't know if there was any kind of damage. It was something I've never seen here before in my lifetime, you know. This is where I grew up, so it's like historic buildings getting destroyed,” said Amanda Parker, who works on East Main Street.

“In this area, between Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, this is a pretty big fire. It's a serious blow to this community. It's going to take this community a long time to recover from the amount of damage that's happened to the business district,” said Dave Drews from Master Care Restoration Company.

Fire officials tell News10NBC a woman and three firefighters were treated on scene Friday, but are now doing just fine.
The victims of this fire are going are need a whole lot of help, with many families having lost everything.
News10NBC spoke to the Palmyra American Legion on Saturday, who is collecting items for the families affected. They are assisting eight families right now.
The American Legion says they have plenty of clothing for the families, but what they do need is small kitchen items, things like toasters, silverware and even plates.
The families also need daily bathroom necessities, like toothpaste, shampoo and soap.
Among the victims are two four years-olds and a 14 year-old girl, so they are also asking for any toys or games, as well as big items like beds, tables or lamps.
These families will have to start from scratch, so any donation would help these families rebuild.
To contact the Palmyra American Legion, call (315) 597-2412 or you can drop off donations at 132 Cuyler St. Palymra, NY 14522.