Update On Fire At Former JC Factory

By Julianne Sweeney

July 22, 2010 Updated Apr 9, 2008 at 11:35 PM EDT

An old candy factory in Johnson City goes up in smoke.

Fire spread quickly inside the former Fair Play Caramel Factory, which now houses 2 car shops and a mechanic shop.

Investigators say it started when a car went up flames.

The crowd stood back and watched as fire ripped through the old Fair Play Caramel Factory.

Once a candy factory, this building on Willow Street in Johnson City is now used as a storage facility for cars.

Inside, several cars burned.

"When we showed up there was just black smoke billowing out of everything," says Christopher Thogode of Johnson City.

"They've even had the smoke going over to Wilson Hospital and putting off the alarms over there," says Margaret Sophie of Johnson City.

Investigators believe the fire started in a car engine.

A mechanic who works here says he tried to start a car that had been stored there all winter.

"The car popped, and it kind of started a fire under the hood, we put it out, thought it was out, it started on fire from underneath," says Christopher Edwards, assistant mechanic.

Investigators say mechanics used water to put out the fire.

But, that only worsened the situation.

Combined with gasoline, it caused flames to spread throughout the building.

Arriving crews entered here, but had to quickly come back outside because of excessive temperatures.

"We have a couple guys that used 2, 3 air bottles, then they had to come out, and we actually had them go to rehab because their blood pressure was high," says JC Fire Chief Henry Michalovic.

Minor injuries were reported.

But, no one was brought to the hospital.

The Binghamton Fire Department was also called to the scene.

Fire crews will continue their investigation Thursday.

We'll keep you updated, right here on Action News.

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