SALAMANCA - The abandoned Erie Rail Depot, arguably one of the largest train stations in Salamanca, was destroyed Tuesday by a blaze described as "suspicious in nature" by fire officials.
According to the Salamanca Fire Department, fire crews responded to the depot, located on Atlantic Street, shortly after 2 p.m.
"We arrived on scene to see some light smoke showing," said Ed Fredrickson, assistant chief of the Salamanca Fire Department. "The fire quickly spread to the stairwell and into the roof. In a very short amount of time, the (structure) was fully engulfed."
Due to a collapsed roof and a tenuous structure, fire crews did not enter the depot. However, by 5 p.m., the fire was contained.
Anthony Ellis, assistant fire chief of the Salamanca Fire Department, said fire crews remained on scene throughout the night, looking for hot spots.
"The roof collapsed onto the second floor and now the second floor is acting like a roof," Ellis said. "We (have flares) in between those layers."
The structure was deemed a total loss by fire officials. No injuries were reported.
Arson is a likely cause of fire, according to Ellis, since the depot was abandoned and had no working utilities.
Salamanca Police were apparently on scene investigating reports of kids in the area.
"We've had (attempted arson) instances (at the depot) in the past six months," Ellis said. "They've all been put out in a short period of time though."
Fire departments on scene included Salamanca, Killbuck, Seneca Nation, Little Valley, Ellicottville and Great Valley.
Randolph and East Randolph fire departments provided backup support.