The fire destroyed a large part of the Department of Public Works building in Irondequoit. It is the second fire in the last few years and while the town does have insurance, another claim is likely to drive up premiums and ultimately it's taxpayers who foot the bill.
A massive fire on Christmas Eve wiped out a portion of the Town of Irondequoit's snow-plowing fleet resulting in millions of dollars lost.
The fire destroyed a large part of the Department of Public Works building. It is the second fire in the last few years and while the town does have insurance, another claim is likely to drive up premiums and ultimately it's taxpayers who foot the bill.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the blaze. More than 100 firefighters battled the fire. Part of the building was saved and two-thirds of the DPW's fleet of vehicles is unscathed. But the town did lose ten plow trucks- heading right into winter.
"The vehicles were a huge loss to us but the generosity of our neighboring towns, the county, the city, they've offered to loan us a lot of their vehicles," says Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley. "So I dare say, by the end of the week we might have status quo with our fleet."
The town supervisor is hoping residents won't notice a difference while he works with the insurance company to get new vehicles ordered and in use. But, it's likely going to be a multi-million dollar claim.
News10NBC: "Several months later, you heard from the insurance companies who say you had this massive claim, 'up go your premiums or we're going to drop you.' Are you concerned about any long-term effects for taxpayers when it comes to this fire and what kind of damage it's done?"
Town Supervisor Seeley: "I would hope not. I really couldn't say on that -- I would hope not though."
But considering the town's salt barn burned nearly to the ground a few years ago, insurance experts say it's very likely.
News10NBC: "I'm asking about the insurance issues because if you keep making claims they're going to say, 'Boy you're a big town and you have a lot of assets, but you also have a lot of claims.' So is that something you have to consider?"
Seeley: "I would of course consider it, something that's outside my power. I wish we didn't have two fires this close in proximity and I hope that doesn't impact our insurance but that's up the marketplace to decide."
The town does have a sizable fund balance, so the hope is it wouldn't have to come to taxpayers if an increase is on the horizon. For now, it's wait-and-see while cleaning up the mess.
The cause of Saturday's fire is still under investigation. Again, if you live in Irondequoit, the hope is that there will be no disruption to the services that you currently receive from the DPW.