A historic Corn Hill building serving as a temporary staffing agency was demolished Saturday afternoon, after a fire hours earlier made the structure unsafe.
“That’s one of the last things we want to see happen is to have a historic building torn down," Rochester Fire Department deputy chief Felipe Hernandez said. "Unfortunately though the extent of damage in the building caused a lot of structural damage to it. The roof collapsed, we had chimneys collapse, floors collapse. So there’s definitely a safety hazard concerned with this current situation.”
Heavy smoke billowed into the skies of Rochester's Corn Hill neighborhood as crews battled the two-alarm fire Saturday morning.
This fire was called in by first responders around 8 a.m.
“There were so many firetrucks and firemen," Neighbor Liliana Iannazzi said. "They were all going up, and there were so many hoses and fire hydrants.”
Crews pulled up to find heavy smoke coming from the roof of the Career Start Workforce Management Group building on South Plymouth Avenue.
The building serves as a temporary staffing and employment agency.
The company responded Saturday morning morning, thanking the community for its support, saying in part:
"We’re so fortunate that no one was hurt and that our company is web based so we’re able to operate from anywhere. I feel the love Rochester."
And it certainly got a lot of attention from neighbors, many stepping outside to see what was going on.
“It’s black and acrid, and it woke us up the smell of burning.” C.J. Miller, of Rochester, said.
Liliana says the whole scene was pretty scary.
“Is everyone OK? Are the fireman getting the people out? Are there people inside? Or like, when is it going to stop?” Liliana said.
Others hated to see such a historical building go up in flames.
“It’s so sad, these old buildings are slowly being renovated, and then something like this,” Amy Gorslina of Rochester said.
No one was inside, and no firefighters were hurt, much to Liliana’s relief.
“I’m glad I’m far away from it, but I’m scared for the people that would be inside of it, and the firemen who go in it,” Liliana said.
Even though the building was demolished, the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Check back with Spectrum News as we have a crew at scene and will continue to update this developing story.