By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette — A fire left the recycling program at Modern Corp. in Lewiston in shambles Wednesday evening.
Modern Corp. Chief Operating Officer Gary Smith said the destruction resulted in a "total loss" of the paper recycling building located at the intersection of Pletcher and Harold roads, though insurance investigators still hadn't made an official determination.
"The building's a total loss, as is the equipment inside," he said.
Besides the building, Smith said multiple forklifts, sorting lines, conveyors, a stationary bailor, a trailer and compactor were also damaged or destroyed due to the blaze.
He's estimated damages to exceed $2 million.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, though Smith did suggest something hot or smoldering was likely the cause, having arrived in a recycling shipment mixed with the paper and cardboard the facility typically handles.
He said employees noticed smoke coming from the facility shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday and notified area fire officials. Several agencies responded to the blaze at 6:01 p.m., including Youngstown, Lewiston No. 1, Upper Mountain and Ransomville fire departments and were reportedly on scene until 2 a.m. Thursday.
"All of the fire departments did a fabulous job," he said. "We can't say enough about their response and what they did."
With the building destroyed, Smith said, recycling activities will be relocated to the company's Junction Road location in Lockport as Modern decides what to rebuild, and where it'll be located, in Lewiston.Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.