Cause of Jamestown fire still under investigation

JAMESTOWN – A massive fire early Monday morning in Jamestown has destroyed a medical complex. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, fire officials said.

City firefighters were alerted around 2:30 a.m. for a report of a structure fire at 23 Ivy St., which housed Krempa Medical Associates, Laser Center of Chautauqua and a podiatric surgeon office. The building, which also faces Foote Avenue, was completely destroyed; most of the roof collapsed within the structure.

Sam Salemme, Jamestown Fire Department battalion chief, said he immediately called for defensive attack on the blaze.

“I could see flames shooting up from the roof when I arrived on scene,” he said. “There were unsafe conditions present, and we didn’t want to put any firefighters in danger.”

More than 20 firefighters, some of whom were called in to the scene, helped battle the blaze. By 10 a.m., investigators were still sifting through debris.

Portions of Foote Avenue were closed or partially shut down for much of the morning and early afternoon.

A cause of the fire is not expected until later today or Wednesday, Salemme said. A forensic investigator, driving a Chautauqua Institution police SUV, was present Monday as well as a crime unit vehicle from the Jamestown Police Department.

Asked if the fire was being treated as suspicious in nature, Salemme said, “At this time we cannot comment on a cause of the fire. Unfortunately that is all we can say at this time.”

He added, “The building does look like a total loss.”

A message on Krempa’s phone system said the medical group was seeking a temporary office as a result of the fire.