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Fire company gets assistance to return to service

The Cambria Volunteer Fire Company is back in service after a blaze tore through the fire station Monday and destroyed fire trucks and other equipment, Mark S.Printup, president of the company, said Friday.

The fire company lost an estimated $1 million when the fire consumed three trucks and an ambulance in the main fire station on Cambria-Wilson Road.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Printup said.

A spare pumper and a heavy rescue truck Cambria keeps in a substation about two miles away on Upper Mountain Road are not enough to fight a fire, but volunteer fire companies across Western New York have come forward with offers of equipment.

"The outpouring of help we have received has been remarkable, and we are extremely grateful," Printup said.

Help came immediately from several members of the tragedy-scarred Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Company, who drove 20 miles to Cambria with food, coffee and offers of fire equipment from Clarence Fire Chief David Case.

As many as 100 firefighters from volunteer companies in Wilson, Pekin and Wrights Corners battled Monday's blaze, with Cambria Fire Chief Dale Heiser in command. One Cambria firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.

The temperature in the cab of the main pumper in the firehouse reached about 1,400 degrees -- hot enough to melt the truck's aluminum roof, Niagara County Fire Coordinator James C. Volkosch said.

The fire-damaged truck bay occupies half the building. Water damaged a banquet hall at the rear of the building.

Printup said the fire company is definitely going ahead with a fish fry -- Cambria Fire Company's major fundraiser -- starting at 4 p.m. Friday in the banquet hall.

The banquet hall seats 400 people, and fire officials are hoping for a full house to help them begin recovering from the huge financial loss.

Assistant Fire Chief Shawn McIntyre called it "the most damaging fire, in terms of monetary loss," in his 20 years of experience.

e-mail: bmichelmore@buffnews.com

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