Fire at Williamsville PPE warehouse under control as investigation begins
Fire crews continued to put out hot spots Wednesday morning at a Williamsville warehouse storing personal protective equipment, after finally getting the fire under control overnight. Meanwhile, an investigation is now underway into what caused the blaze.
Brad Sprague, chief of the Main Transit Fire Department, revealed the extent of the damage while speaking to reporters at the scene. He said the warehouse’s rear roof and walls collapsed in the blaze, while the office portion of the building was still intact.
“There were no injuries,” Sprague added.
The large blaze was first reported at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Premium PPE, a face mask manufacturer located in an industrial park off Youngs Road and not far from Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Premium PPE announced plans last year to invest $4.5 million into opening the facility and create 25 jobs, according to The Buffalo News.
Several employees were present in the building at the time the fire broke out Tuesday, fire officials said, but the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
“Everything is still very early in the process,” said Ahmerst Fire Inspector John Pidgeon. “So we have, unfortunately, no update to give as far as where we're at in the process.”
The blaze created a large cloud of smoke that was visible for several miles. It appeared to blow into the flight paths of planes landing at the airport, before drifting off into the direction of the thruway. Portions of the thruway had to be closed.
Firefighters had concerns about industrial chemicals inside the building, which led to an evacuation order Tuesday. However, Sprague said there’s no danger to the surrounding businesses and nearby thruway travelers.
“At this point, there's no hazard to the public,” he said. “We are continuing doing air and water monitoring to make sure that that doesn't change.”
Fire crews were expected to remain on scene throughout the day before officially turning it over to investigators.