Major Fire at Ellis Bros. Shuts Down Downtown Binghamton

Published 04/30 2014 09:21AM

Updated 04/30 2014 06:37PM

Smoke filled the sky above downtown Binghamton this morning as one of the city's oldest retailers had a building destroyed by fire.

Ellis Brothers Contemporary Furniture location on Water Street was gutted by fire.

The call came in at 7:30 a.m. with the blaze originating from the building's northeast fourth floor corner. Within hours, the fire spread down through the floors and most of the roof collapsed.

A three-sided attack from Binghamton firefighters kept the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings, although they likely suffered extensive smoke and water damage.

Many downtown streets were shutdown and Boscov's Department Store across the street was evacuated along with neighboring buildings.

Binghamton High School sent students home early as heavy smoke drifted across the Chenango River into the city's Westside.

Mayor Rich David, who lives around the corner from Ellis Brothers, says his chief concern was for the safety of residents and firefighters. So far, no injuries have been reported.

Neighbors have been stopping by to express their sympathy and support to the Ellis family.

"Complete strangers are offering emotional support. And there expressions of support. And again that is exactly what has happened here today, an outpouring of support when one of our own is in need. We also need to keep in mind that this is a family who have been extensively involved in community service and community events and contributing financially and otherwise to a whole host of organisations and a whole host of community events in the city of Binghamton," said David.

The primary Ellis Brothers location on Washington Street is separated by an alleyway and does not appear to have been impacted.

The first call for the fire coincided with a shift change at the Binghamton Fire Department so it was able to devote double the usual amount of manpower immediately.

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