COLONIE, N.Y.—A fire of unknown origin Feb. 12 caused an estimated $4 million in damage to Adirondack Tire Corp.'s tire distribution center in Colonie. The blaze started at 9:30 a.m. in the 45,000-sq.-ft. warehouse, located near Albany, said Larry O'Shea, president of Colonie-based Adirondack Tire. About 22,000 passenger and heavy truck tires caught fire. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters battled the flames and thick, black smoke for two days, finally extinguishing the fire Feb. 14. Fire officials still are investigating the cause of the blaze.
No oily runoff seeped into the groundwater or caused any type of environmental damage due to the installation of a nearby containment pond, Mr. O'Shea said, adding that officials from the Environmental Protection Agency have given Adirondack Tire ``a clean bill of health.''
Adirondack Tire is a tire wholesaler and retailer, with wholesale accounting for 75 percent of its business, Mr. O'Shea said. The company's six retail outlets also do some commercial work.
As the blaze began to burn out of control Feb. 12, the company began to regroup and secured temporary warehouse space, he said.
By 1 p.m. that day, the firm had dispatched employees to contact the utilities and its suppliers about setting up temporary offices.
``...We developed a strategy right then and there,'' Mr. O'Shea said. ``Our main thought was: `How are we going to reopen Monday morning?' That was our main focus.''
On Feb. 17, Adirondack Tire opened a temporary distribution center in a 76,000-sq.-ft. building, also in Colonie, with new office furniture, computers and an inventory of 16,000 tires, he said.
Mr. O'Shea owned the destroyed warehouse, which was insured, and plans to rebuild and reopen it by mid-summer.
``We are presently talking to contractors, and we want to be right back at our present location. August 1 is the deadline,'' he said.
Adirondack Tire is an exclusive distributor of Hercules, Dunlop and Sigma tires to about 800 customers in the Northeast, he said.