By Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
At 4:19 a.m. July 3, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at the Grand Island Small Animal Hospital, 2323 Whitehaven Road.
Deputy Fire Chief Chris Soluri stated that engines Nos. 2, 3, and 4, ladder truck No. 6 and fire suppression crews encountered a working fire in the incinerator section of the building complex upon their arrival. Since the facility provides emergency services and is open on a 24-hour basis, three employees on duty had to evacuate the building.
The fire was confined to a crawl space and roof above the incinerator, which was in use at the time. It was declared out at 5:41 a.m. after a lengthy water-line relay of approximately 700 feet was handled by engines Nos. 2 and 3 in order to supply engine No. 4, the initial attack pumper.
Total damage was estimated at $50,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents.
Mutual aid assistance was rendered by the Sheridan Park Volunteer Fire Department and City of Tonawanda Fire Department.
One Grand Island firefighter sustained a minor injury during overhaul operations but remained on duty after evaluation by a GIFC medic.
Meanwhile, Nicole Kelver, doctor of veterinary medicine, confirmed all animals on the scene were subsequently examined and had no questionable after-effects. The clinic remained open except for the incinerator, which requires further inspection.
Marine Unit 1 responds to two river emergencies in three days
Shortly before 5 p.m. July 5, Grand Island Fire Co. rescue personnel responded to a watercraft in distress call for assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol.
Fire Capt. John Cinelli stated 23-year-old Kelly McDonald of Amherst had been thrown off a Waverunner and had been rescued by family members after being found facedown in the Niagara River just north of Grass Island.
After being transferred to Grand Island Marine Unit 1 for evaluation and treatment, she was brought to shore at the Sandy Beach Yacht Club dock and turned over to Twin City Ambulance but declined hospitalization.
Previously, July 3, Marina Unit 1 responded to another vessel in distress call when a personal watercraft ran out of fuel and drifted into the no-boating zone above the American Falls. The New York State Parks Police retrieved the stranded operator and emergency medical services treatment was not required from the GIFC.