A fire broke out at Pathfinder Industries Saturday night at approximately at 9:50 p.m., leaving the building destroyed.
The Fulton Fire Department battled the blaze for nearly five hours, along with mutual aid assistance from the City of Oswego, Volney, Cody, Granby and Minetto fire departments. Personnel from the Oswego County Fire coordinators office also assisted.
Firefighters had to fight the flames from outside of the facility. Oswego’s city fire department sent its aerial ladder track to combat the blaze. Firefighter remained at the 117 N. Third St. location into Sunday morning, putting out hot spots.
The cause of the fire is unknown, and currently under investigation by the City of Fulton Fire and Police Departments, as well as the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control. No civilian injuries were reported.
According to Mayor Ron Woodward, another local machine shop has offered to help in any way that they can, including lending supplies. Woodward wasn’t sure if the owners would accept the offer because he said they were “over their head right now with talking to their insurance company.”
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A release of an undermined amount of ammonia from the closed Fulton Birds Eye plant was contained and isolated by emergency personnel Aug. 30.
A precautionary evacuation of several nearby residents took place, Fulton Fire Department Acting Chief Paul Foster said.
The leak was reported about 8:22 p.m. Chief Foster said the leak occurred in a 1 1/4 inch return pipe of the refrigeration system and was located, isolated and contained by on-site maintenance.
The Oswego County Hazardous Materials Team, the Oswego County Health Department and the State Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response also responded to the scene with the Fulton Fire Department.
As a precaution, residents in the area of Jerome and Gansvoort streets in Fulton were evacuated. The Oswego County E-911 Communications Center and Fulton Police Department notified nearby residents.
Foster said any ammonia remaining in the surrounding atmosphere may be an irritant to residents and those experiencing any irritation may wish not to stay at home tonight.
Displaced residents may go to the War Memorial or the Community Room at the Fulton Municipal Building.
John D. McGraw was named the Fulton Fire Department’s 2011 Firefighter of the Year.
McGraw, a 17-year member of the fire department, has spearheaded many projects.
During the past year, he has been the driving force behind the submission of two equipment grants and he has been the liaison between the county and the department during the transition into the newly purchased county wide radio system.