Friday fire destroys Lakemont Service

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
The charred ruins of Harry Arcaneli's auto repair business, Lakemont Service, which was destroyed by fire Feb. 14.

An auto repair shop in Lakemont was completely destroyed by fire Friday, Feb. 14.

Sgt. Steve Neuberger of New York State Police in Dundee reports troopers were called by 911 to Lakemont Service, at 7:55 p.m. to find the shop engulfed in flames. Dundee Fire and Ambulance responded, as did Penn Yan, Tyrone, Benton, Himrod, and Dresden Fire Departments.

The fire, believed to have begun in the east bay of the shop, quickly spread throughout the building owned by Harry Arcangeli, who lives immediately adjacent to his shop.

Witnesses at the scene reported several explosions, reported to be fuel and welding torch tanks. The fire was reported under control at 9:47 p.m., and troopers left the scene by 11:30 p.m. The structure is a total loss, as are several vehicles which were inside or nearby, but no residents or firefighters were reported injured. The Arcangeli home was not damaged, but the Lakemont Post office did suffer some heat damage to the vinyl siding.

Dundee Fire Chief Dave Bambey, who is in his first term, said it was fortunate it was a calm night with little wind, and expressed his gratitude to the other departments who responded. "It was gratifying to see the mutual aide come in, and amazing to see them all work together like one group. We are all here for the benefit of the community."

Sadly, Bambey also reported that one of the Arcangeli's dogs ran away frightened by the explosions, and was struck and killed on State Rte. 14 nearby.

The cause of the fire is undetermined as yet, and remains under investigation by the Yates County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigation Team.