Officials plan to demolish buildings destroyed by Jay Street fire

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy issued a state of emergency for the city while officials work on their plan to demolish the buildings destroyed by the fire on Jay Street almost two weeks ago.

The focus shifted Tuesday from investigating the cause of the fire to determining how best to demolish the buildings. The city put out a request for bids and held a meeting to answer questions from contractors.

Four bids were issued ranging from about $420,000 to $792,000. Jackson Demolition won the bid with just under $420,000. Set up will begin on Wednesday, and demolition is expected to start early Thursday morning. It will take four weeks to take down the buildings.

But the state of emergency has raised some concerns for those who live and work in the area. However, McCarthy said officials have always approached the fire scene with extreme caution and allows the fire chief to control the area

“The status hasn’t changed,” he said. “It’s just the legal position of the city. So again, the fire chief, again, in terms of a perimeter, setting up people, moving people back, to make sure they’re safe, while we continue to remediate the site.”

He said the state of emergency is to make sure everyone stays safe while the buildings are demolished.

Officials said the first building to be demolished will be 104 Jay St. where the fire started and the four sets of remains were found. They said neighboring 100 and 102 Jay St. are too dangerous and unstable to search.  Crews are hoping once 104 Jay St. has been demolished, they can get a better look into the other two buildings.

Crews will take 100 and 102 Jay St. down piece-by-piece. Officials believe remains may be inside the two buildings.

The state of emergency has been declared within the area of Jay Street between Franklin Street and Liberty Street, extending down Franklin Street to 427 Franklin St., and extending down Liberty Street to the intersection of Yates Street. It includes the parking lots behind all buildings on Jay Street between Franklin Street and Liberty Street.

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