Fire Burns Union Fork and Hoe

by Joanne on August 2, 2012

It was a wild day in Frankfort, New York just after 1:45 pm Wednesday afternoon on August 1st. 

I sat at my desk reviewing customer orders when Susan said “Oh my gosh! That doesn’t look like a controlled fire.”  I walked to the door to see what she was looking at.  It was Union Fork and Hoe, the old abandoned building which had recently been acquired and under deconstruction.  The windows were removed and the inside was being gutted to make way for future business.  The future business was not destined to make any use of the abandoned site.

2012-08-01 13.51.19

This was the beginning of the fire.  Brank construction used the lot to store vehicles and equipment.  You can see the hustle to move wheel barrels and vehicles away from the burning site as the heat quickly climbed to breath taking levels.

2012-08-01 14.00.47

The camper on the right was a concern. When fire crew arrived, they began hosing it down until the owner finally came and moved it. 

2012-08-01 14.00.57

The Brank group were moving quickly now. It was burning hot!

2012-08-01 14.01.18

The vehicles and equipment were moved to our parking lot across the street from the burning structure.  All our employees moved their cars in fear of the intense heat and to clear the way for the fire departments to use our lot, not to mention, protecting us from the flames.

2012-08-01 14.02.54

The structure begins to cave in as the heat melts the aluminum sided portion of the old structure.  Flames moved into the brick buildings on both sides within the hour.

UFH Engulfed

The fire department hosed down our building because the heat was so intense, the front door was too hot to touch/open. 

The scene before all employees left for the day was this…

UFH after

The fire was finally under control.  The little bit of rain we had certainly didn’t hurt.  I’m not sure how much it helped but every little counts in this kind of situation. 

As I drove away from work and the fire, the street was lined with emergency vehicles and on lookers.  People came out from everywhere to see the burning of Union Fork and Hoe, a building that employed hundreds of local folk for years, came under scrutiny due to contaminated grounds, then finally ending up as just an “eye-sore” for our business and others who looked at the ever decaying structure over the past years. 

The van burned to it’s frame which my partner and I saw being vandalized by local kids, years ago. Since it couldn’t be moved, we were all hoping it was drained of gas and not housing anything which could go off with a bang once the fire got to it. 

truck at ufh

The Day After

This is the scene as I got to work today

UFH Day after

Not much left.

UFH Day after1

Still smoldering.  There are cars in our driveway which sit idle as the driver and passengers inside watch on in disbelief. A man and his dog look on in amazement.

UFH on lookers

We have no mailbox.  It was removed and leaned up against the telephone pole by the neighbors fence, out of the way of emergency vehicles.

UFH mailbox

Not sure when the buildings will stop emitting smoke. 

UFH day after2

Fire crew are still patrolling the area.  Our building smells of smoke.  It will be days before our noses get relief. 

There has been no news regarding the cause.  Investigation to ensue.

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  • At 2012.08.02 10:16, Alison said:

    Wow – what a sight. I bet it was a bit scary too considering how big the fire was and how long it took to get under control. I find fires fascinating when they aren’t homes or buildings with people in them. As a kid, the week before Christmas a house burned to the ground and I remember seeing the firemen throw the burning tree out into the snow – presumably the reason for the fire. I felt awful. A big eye sore building though… that might now pave the way for some interesting new building to pop up! Let us know how long it takes for the smell to go away.

    • At 2012.08.02 19:11, Choc Chip Uru said:

      Oh god my friend, that is horrible 🙁
      I am so sorry you and your neighbours had to go through such a terrible fire! I hope everyone is ok now!
      Your photos capture the fear…


      • At 2012.08.03 04:32, Peter said:

        These photos are scary! I hope you’re ok! Does your house damaged, or not?

        • At 2012.08.03 08:02, Donna said:

          your pictures are better than newspaper photos!

          • […] remains of Union Fork and Hoe. All buildings in the middle and to one side are gone. The fire is out but curious locals still go […]

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