Middlesex highway work back on track following fire

Julie Sherwood

Highway operations are back in full swing in the town, where last Friday night a fire in the highway barn destroyed one truck and heavily damaged two others, along with damaging a main part the building.

“The county sent a plow truck right away for plowing and sanding,” Town Supervisor Bob Multer said Monday.

Along with Yates County coming to the rescue, a number of neighboring towns offered their vehicles and storage space, said Multer.

“We are thankful for all the cooperation,” he added.

Along with temporarily borrowing the county truck, the town had two spare vehicles to use while the damaged ones are off the road, Multer said.

While the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, it appears the one truck that was destroyed caught fire, likely due to an electrical problem, Multer said.

The barn’s shop, used for vehicle and equipment storage and doing repairs “was pretty well destroyed,” Multer added.

The insurance adjusters have assessed the damage and the town is waiting to hear about coverage. he said.

David Harrington, Middlesex Fire Department second assistant fire chief, said Saturday that firefighters from 10 area departments fought the blaze or provided backup. The weather at the time of the fire was about 10 or 11 degrees, Harrington said. By the time emergency crews cleared the scene at 2 a.m., temperatures had dropped to 2 degrees.

Multer said an automatic fire alarm that went off at the highway barn about 9:25 p.m. alerted crews to the fire at the barn at 1240 Mill St.