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Investigation continues on West Seneca Highway Department building

“There are a few vehicles in there that were not able to get out. Two dump trucks for sure. A sanitation vehicle and a sewer vehicle.”
west seneca fire pic .jpg
Posted at 5:40 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 17:40:56-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - — Police and other officials continue to investigate the West Seneca Highway Department building fire that happened around 2 a.m. on Christmas Day.

Capt. James Unger, public information officer of West Seneca Police, says it took fire crews almost four hours to put out the fire on the 71-year-old building.

“They did a good job in stopping the progression of the fire from getting to the entire building,” he says. “It looks like at this point half of the building a total loss and the other half is still being determined.”

Police say it’ll take several weeks to determine the cause of the fire.

The West Seneca Highway Department superintendent says several pieces of equipment couldn’t be saved.

“Two dump trucks for sure,” Adams says. “A sanitation vehicle and a sewer vehicle.”

However, Adams doesn't suspect any act of arson.

“I personally feel there was something with one of the trucks. It happened quite often with the other departments,” he says. “It just so happens, so it was winter months for us, and the trucks were inside.”

Gary Dickson, a Town of West Seneca supervisor, says the damages shouldn’t impact residents' services.

“The sanitation will be unaffected, and the highway superintendent is getting other vehicles from other towns,” Dickson says. “So if there's snow, we’d be able to plow the streets maybe a little slower than normal.”

Adams says he and his team will take it one day at a time.

“A lot of support from surrounding towns that have already dropped off equipment, so we’re very thankful for them,” he says.

Assemblyman Pat Burke released a statement that says Burke had the chance to secure $500,000 in emergency funding from the New York State.

In a statement Burke says:

“First and foremost, I send my sincerest gratitude to the firefighters that battled the blaze and helped contain the fire that destroyed a West Seneca Highway Department garage on Christmas morning. Your efforts are much appreciated and don’t go unnoticed by the community.

As Secretary of the Assembly Majority Conference, I was able to secure $500,000 in emergency funding from New York State to assist in costs associated with the fire, and I thank Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for his quick response in this matter.

I’ve spoken with Highway Superintendent Brian Adams, and he assured me that West Seneca will be in good shape despite the loss of equipment, as Erie County and neighboring towns are chipping in to help in the meantime. I thank County Executive Poloncarz for offering county resources until we can get back to full strength.”