Building owner and neighbors react to overnight Hickory Street fire

Local News

Several crews worked overnight to put out a huge blaze in the 1600 block of Hickory Street in the City of Erie.

The building suffered major damage.

Smoke filled the air of the 1600 block of Hickory Street as flames came out the back of an abandoned building.

“What we heard was a lot of commotion going on at first, and then that’s when we went out back and we heard crackling and popping and just you know the windows breaking,” said Mason Rodgers, Neighbor.

This isn’t the first time the building has caught fire in the past year.

“It caught on fire the last time and I thought that was it we got you know power back on the building and we were renovating it, put new siding on it, a new roof on it,” said Joseph Dobrich, Building Owner.

After seeing his property for the first time, the building owner Joseph Dobrich tells us that he believes the cause of the fire was arson.

“We think it’s arson. It’s the second time. It’s arson somebody in the neighborhood I mean they’re blowing the windows out we’ve replaced windows twice. I think the windows get shut out so it’s just a bad area,” said Dobrich.

The building was demolished after a partial collapse where the fire started.

“Crews did a great job containing it to those fires and bringing it down. We had a partial collapse of the main fire building so it made it difficult to continue to overhaul and get everything out, but I am happy to report there were no injuries,” said Fred Gillespie, Deputy Chief of Erie Fire Department.

The City of Erie Fire Inspector said that the cause is still under investigation because of the previous fires. It makes it more difficult to determine an exact excuse.

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