Update: Nelson, NY — Cazenovia firefighters have returned to Cazenovia Equipment Co. after the blaze that destroyed the farm store's main showroom rekindled. Madison County 911 officials said they dispatched the department about 6:25 a.m.
Nelson, NY — An overnight fire destroyed the main showroom of the Cazenovia Equipment Co. farm equipment dealership at 3200 U.S. Route 20 in the Madison County town of Nelson.
Firefighters arriving shortly after midnight found the roof and front half of the building completely in flames, Cazenovia Fire Chief Gilbert Hodges said. The fire quickly spread to the rest of the building, he said.
The fire was so intense that firefighters could attack the flames from the outside only. It took an hour and a half to two hours to bring it under control, Hodges said at 5:21 a.m.
“There were a few explosions when we arrived. That prevented us from getting real close,” Hodges said. The chief said he was not sure what was exploding but said that the dealership likely had some petroleum-based products on hand.
One blast caused a firefighter to lose his footing. He suffered a rib injury but did not need to be taken to the hospital, Hodges said.
Firefighters used water from a nearby stream to try to quell the fire. The Erieville, New Woodstock, Smithfield, Delphi Falls, Pompey Hill and Manlius fire departments joined Cazenovia at the scene, bringing personnel and water.
The building, which Hodges described as a pole barn-type structure with a metal roof, and its contents were destroyed. The front half was the John Deere dealership’s showroom, he said. The back portion served as a service and parts area and offices.
A trailer that also serves as office space and other barns on the property are okay, he said.
The extent of the fire will make it difficult to pinpoint where it started, although it appears to have spread from the front half of the building, Hodges said. The state Office of Fire Prevention and Control has been called in to help investigate the cause and starting point, he said.
The company’s website says Cazenovia Equipment has been in business since 1961. Officials commemorated the company's 50th anniversary Thursday with a cake-cutting at the Chenango County Fair, one of 10 such celebrations taking place this year, marketing representative Martha Ryan said.
The Cazenovia center is the headquarters for nine other locations across Central and Northern New York. They sell farm tractors and implements and lawn and garden gear, representing John Deere and a variety of other manufacturers. The business is owned by Jim and Mike Frazee.
Among the items destroyed was the company's internet-based phone system, Ryan said. Customers with questions and concerns should check the company website, www.cazenoviaequipment.com, for a list of emergency numbers to contacts the stores.