Workers flee flames in Marcy fire

Published Jun 12, 2018 at 11:45am

TOWN OF MARCY — A fire suppressant foam truck from the Griffiss Airport was needed to help fight an oil fire at Vince’s U-Pull It Auto Parts on Old River Road Monday afternoon.

Flames erupted in the fluid drainage garage on the west side of the Vince’s compound, and the workers inside were able to escape without injury and call 9-1-1 shortly after 2 p.m., fire officials said. Crews from three volunteer departments responded.

“It was a well-involved fire, especially in the interior of the building, when we pulled up,” described Stittville Fire Chief Bill Sutherland. A hydrant was tapped on Old River Road, and a large hose line had to be pulled nearly 100 yards back to the garage. The hose was laid over the driveway into the business, trapping some customers at Vince’s for the duration of the firefight.

The garage is used to drain oil and other fluids out of vehicles at the automotive recycling business, officials said. The oil is drained into a pit in the floor, which quickly ignited.

“We knocked the fire down with a couple of hand lines,” Sutherland stated, but his volunteers needed help with the burning oil pit.

He said he called in help from the fire department at the Griffiss International Airport, which has a truck that shoots fire suppressant foam. The chief said ordinary water was useless in an oil fire, while the foam was specifically made to knock out such a blaze.

“They put a foam blanket on top of it and smothered the fire out,” Sutherland described.

The chief said the fire was under control in about 40 minutes. Crews remained on the scene cleaning up hot spots until about 5 p.m.

“The building itself is not a loss, it’s structurally sound,” the chief stated, adding that the contents of the building were destroyed in the fire.

Vince’s U-Pull It is owned by Vince Surace. He declined to comment at the scene of the fire. He said he’s been in business since 1988.

The Stittville, Maynard and Floyd fire departments responded, with assistance from Griffiss.