Cortland Fire Clean Up

By Mike Trim

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 7, 2005 at 2:44 PM EDT

Two days after a fire destroyed an old factory building in Cortland, demolition and cleanup begins.
"We were called in after the fire. And the building is very weak at this point. And it's basically just gravity holding it up. We know that a bit of it's going to come out in the street, so we've made those precautions," says Jerry Contento of Contento Contracting.
Contento Contracting is in charge of knocking down what's left of the old Wick-Wire Factory on South Main Street.
Part of the street has been blocked off since Sunday.
That's when the fire ripped through the 3 story building that has been vacant since 1971.
No one was injured during the blaze, thanks to the response of nearly 100 fire firefighters from 6 fire departments.
"Understand how hard their fire department worked to protect lives and property here and not take it for granted that they were successful," says Dennis Baron, the Cortland Fire Chief.
According to Cortland Mayor Tom Gallagher, building owner Dan McNeil was in the process of tearing down the building before the fire.
The owners haven't announced any immediate plans for the property, but Gallagher thinks it should be used to revitalize Main Street.
"There are some businesses down there, and there are some spaces down there for some start up businesses. And we would like to extend our Main Street all the way down to South Main Street," says Gallagher.
Salvage crews hoped to bring the building completely down by the end Tuesday.
Once that's done, a wire fence will surround the old site of the Wickwire building, while the buildings owners decide it's future plans.
There's still no word on the cause of Sunday night's fire.
An investigation is underway by the Cortland Police Department.

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