The former Charles Town Mall got caught up in a massive blaze before early daylight this Thursday.
The fire department rushed to the scene at around 1.25 a.m. and was encountered with colossal flames consuming the building rapidly. The complete rear side, extending all the way to where the building ends on Turner Street, had been swamped by waves of flames that were shooting out the windows in a terrifying way.
Several videos and photos were circulated on social media, capturing the burning scene.
The brutal struggle of the Fire force
Teams from Utica, Schuyler, Frankfort Center, and Frankfort have joined hands to cool down the flames. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
Scott Ingersoll the Fire Chief tells, ‘We’re setting up to be here for 24 hours and I wouldn’t be surprised if we are here for 48 hours.’
Given the situation, the firefighters may have to stay at the site for two or more days.
The prior mishaps last year
During sometime in June and July of last year, the Charles Town Mall broke out into a blaze twice within a period of one month which ruined the whole building creating cracks in the wall. So, eventually, they had to abandon the building.
The previous fire accidents occurred on 18th June and 21st July of last year. At that time, the fire alarm was raised at around 6:45 p.m. on 21st July. and the fire department scurried to the location instantly. Apparently, no one was harmed or injured, and the fire was doused in about 2 hours. Then again, then crew stayed there for six to seven hours checking to see if there were any more hot spots and cleaning up.
The case was considered to be fishy since their source of the multiple flames was not certain.
What will happen now?
Coming back to the present situation at hand, the building will probably be knocked down. Since it had been taken off the tax rolls in February due to the many fires that have occurred. Environmental clean-ups, and code infringements that have been made.
The lower East-side of Utica is full of ashes and smoke. Which is a critical concern as it can have a great impact on the air quality of the area?
The people of Utica who are residing in the proximity of the accident. Have been given clear instructions to stay indoors and to keep their doors and windows shut tight. The routes to Turner street and Bleeker Street have been blockaded. What caused this fire is still unknown and is under inspection.