Warehouse Fire Possible Arson

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 8, 2009 at 6:11 PM EDT

Binghamton Fire Investigators believe Sunday's warehouse blaze was intentionally set.

The fire at former E.H. Titchener and Company lit up the night around the First Ward.

As Action News reporter Gabe Osterhout tells us there's concern that it's still standing.

Susan Ford heard screams in her neighborhood around 9:30 Sunday night.

She looked out to see flames shooting from the warehouse across the street.

"It was scary. The embers were actually falling on the house so I woke up my grandson and my daughter and then we got them out of bed and they were knocking on the door like you guys gotta get out," Ford says.

Ford left out the back door with her children as a fire truck in front protected her home on Titchener Place.

Lisa Finch was driving on Clinton Street.

"As we started approaching the building, I saw an orange glow and we got a little bit closer and we could see the flames were just shooting out of the top of the building and there was a lot of black smoke," says Lisa Finch of Endwell.

By morning, Binghamton firefighters were still working to prevent hot spots from flaring up.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine what started the fire in the building that's been vacant since 2005. Neighbors say this building has been a popular handout for kids.

"There's definitely a good chance it was an arson related fire. There was no natural causes, no electricity in the building, no reason for a fire to start," says Binghamton fire marshal Daniel Eggleston.

Eggleston says the fire started in the back on the right, damaging a portion of the building.

Ford hopes the building is torn down to keep kids from hanging out there.

In Binghamton, Gabe Osterhout, WBNG-TV Action News.

The warehouse is attached to the unique history E.H. Titchener Company.

Titchener was a metal working company that formed in 1891 during the Industrial Revolution.

At its height in the 1980s it employed around 260 people.

It manufactured small products like trays for photocopiers, paper guides for typewriters, wire baskets for operating rooms.

Titchener Company even introduced the row of staples to insert inside of staplers.

"If you look at the history, they had an important role in a lot of small industries.. They would sell to IBM, they would sell to Lockheed Martin, they'd sell to Raymond Corporation, but they also sold nationally to all over," says Broome County historian Gerald Smith.

National clients included Xerox and Universal Instruments.

The company closed its doors in February 2005.

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