Fredonia building avoids catastrophic fire

A fire in a downtown Fredonia building Sunday afternoon has resulted in moderate damage and has displaced 13 residents of the One Park Place building for a short period of time.

According to a press release by the Fredonia Fire Department, just before 2:45 p.m., a fire in the basement of One Park Place (formerly known as the Russo Building) was discovered and reported by the owners of the Kangaroo Cafe.

Immediate mutual aid was requested from the City of Dunkirk Fire Department, as Fredonia firefighters were already giving mutual aid to the East Town of Dunkirk Fire Department for an unrelated emergency medical situation.

Engine 12 and the City of Dunkirk Fire Department arrived on the scene simultaneously, with city firefighters reporting smoke showing on the Center Street side of the building. Crews from all three departments began ensuring all of the residents had been evacuated from the upper floors of the building and initiated a fire attack in the basement.

The Fredonia Police Department shut down traffic on the westbound lane of Main Street for the duration of the fire fight. The fire was reported under control shortly before 3:30 p.m.

The 13 residents were displaced by the fire due to power to the building being cut off. The power will remain off until a damaged electrical panel can be replaced.

In addition, there was minor smoke damage done to businesses and office spaces directly above where the fire was located.

No one was injured in the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team.

Second Assistant Chief John Lanphere, who served as incident commander, wished to thank the quick and efficient work by all three responding departments, as well as the quick thinking by business owners in reporting the fire, which helped keep the damage to a minimum in what could have been a catastrophic fire.

Alstar Ambulance and members of the Southwestern NY American Red Cross Disaster Team responded to provide disaster relief. Disaster Team volunteers Fran Heath and Pete Peterson responded to provide initial disaster assistance. Temporary housing, clothing and meals are services typically offered to address emergency needs.

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