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In the aftermath of the Sodus Highway fire



The Sodus Town Barns on Rotterdam Road burned to the ground Saturday night (12/21/19) with all the highway equipment, including trucks and snowplows inside. No personnel were injured. The adjacent fuel tanks did not ignite.

That was the bad news.

The Town of Sodus was actually lucky on several fronts.

First, in the following week, Wayne County and lakefront areas in Soddus saw nothing but abnormally warm temperatures, with no snow, or storms in sight.

Highway Superintendents around the County immediately upon learning of the loss, vowed to help out any way they could. Fire Departments from surrounding municipalities responded to the  scene. According to Town Supervisor Steve LeRoy, on Saturday night, the building and equipment were a total loss.

The Times spoke with Sodus Highway Superintendent Dale Pickering on following Friday afternoon about the aftermath of the fire.

“Saturday night (12/21) was our lowest point. We had no building, no plows, no electric, no water, no gas. The building was all but gone,” said  Pickering.

“On Monday, things were picking  up and looking up.”

According to Pickering, all of the Wayne County Highway Superintendents met and discussed what they could do to help out.

“We have been loaned plows from the Towns of Ontario, Walworth, Williamson, Huron, Savannah and Lyons,” said Dale. Ontario Highway is keeping their plow in their own heated bay until we need it. The others we can use block heaters on. In our inventory, we have one plow which had been out being repaired in Geneva, which is good to go. We also had a spare truck and a 6 wheeler that we use for cul de sacs. We are all set with our payloader which was not in the barns, and our salt and sand are fine.”

The front part of the building, where there are two offices and two bays used for storage, were not destroyed and they now have heat, light and water restored to them,

Pickering noted that, of the 7 trucks that were in the fire, there may actually be two that are salvageable….it remains to be seen.

“We were fortunate that a new truck/plow that we ordered 13 months ago was delayed – and should now be arriving in two weeks.”

Outgoing Town Supervisor Steve LeRoy stated that “We have received an incredible outpouring of support, from all over Wayne County and from as far away as Perinton.” He reported that the town’s insurance provider has pledged to cover the fire loss, as well as future costs  for a new highway barn. “We’ have worked with them for 24 years and they have always been willing to help,” LeRoy said.

“The adjacent towns of Huron, Lyons, Arcadia and Williamson have also offered to extend their routes to our areas as needed. It was a terrible fire and loss, but things are moving in a good direction and we should be ready for the snow when it comes,” Pickering reported.

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