Fire levels Peru bottling company buildings

PERU An early morning blaze last Saturday Feb. 3 destroyed the 9,000 square foot headquarter buildings of the Frosty Springs Bottling Company owned by Donald and Linda Covel at 842 Mannix Road. Clinton County Fire Investigator Richard Williams said the fires cause is under investigation. Pictures are being examined and witness statements are being analyzed. Linda Covel first noticed the blaze about 6 a.m. During the next four hours fire fighters from eight local fire departments fought to save the three attached buildings. Peru Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chad Frechette said flames were shooting through the roof of the main building when the firefighters arrived. He said fire spreads quickly through a wood frame-metal exterior structure. The firefighters worked to drive the blaze back to the center of the buildings where it appeared to have originated. Cardboard boxes and plastic bottles provided ample flammable material. The two buildings to the rear suffered the worst damage. They were reduced to a heap of charred wood and tin. The front building did not collapse, but suffered severe damage. Bottling machines must be examined to determine the extent of damage. The Peru Fire Department reported back to the station at 12:05 p.m. but was called back to the scene later in the day to extinguish rekindled flames. Don Covel managed to save his three delivery trucks and a tractor. Covel said he hopes to continue to supply his customers by working with other bottlers. One unattached building was not damaged. It will be used for storing supplies. Frosty Springs nine employees supply water and coffee and associated machines to many of the regions leading businesses. Frosty Springs has nine employees. Covel said he hopes to have his business fully functioning within 90 days. Along with operating his water and Christmas tree businesses, Don Covel also serves as Peru Town Supervisor. Seven fire departments assisted Peru in fighting the blaze. They included fire fighters from Keeseville, AuSable Forks, South Plattsburgh, Morrisonville, Saranac, District 3 and Beekmantown. The Cadyville, Willsboro and Jay Departments stood standby.

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