HONEOYE — A blaze that destroyed the oldest building on the former Stone Construction site Aug. 22 is being investigated as an arson.
“It was intentionally started,” said Inv. Chris Drake with the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office of the fire that broke out about 4 a.m., destroying most of the large three-story structure that had most recently been purchased by Commodore, an East Bloomfield-based plastics and technology company.
Drake said the criminal investigation is ongoing. While the sheriff’s office works on criminal aspects of the case, the county Office of Fire Coordinator is working on the cause and origin of the fire — “how and why the fire started,” he said.
Drake added he couldn’t predict how much longer the investigation would continue and encouraged anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office.
County Fire Coordinator Jeff Harloff declined to answer questions about the the case, deferring to the sheriff’s office.
Commodore co-owner Jeff Braddon said multiple insurance companies are involved in assessing the damage to the structure at 8662 Main St.
“We are waiting to find out what they come up with,” he said.
If the building were to be replaced, the cost could well exceed $2 million, Braddon said.
Commodore still plans to use the site for the business, he said.
“We are seriously considering replacing it and making a more modern building,” he said.
Drake said the fencing around the rubble from the destroyed building, warning people to keep out, is for safety, among other reasons. The building was undergoing asbestos removal when it burned, he said, making the site a health and safety hazard.
Meanwhile, Commodore is moving along on finding a tenant for the newer former Stone Construction building nearby, which was not damaged by the fire. The Honeoye Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has it listed on its website (www.honeoyelakechamber.org/).
Audrey Carrier, the chamber’s president and community relations specialist, said she is enthused about possible businesses that may lease there. Honeoye is able to access Ontario County’s fiber-optic ring, bringing high-speed broadband service, which offers an additional incentive for businesses to set up shop, she said.
If anyone has information pertaining to the fire, they should call the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office at (585) 394-4560.