Marcella’s owner fears appliance shortage after fire at Schenectady warehouse

SCHENECTADY – Fire investigators are investigating a Tuesday morning fire that damaged part of an equipment warehouse owned by businessman John Marcella.

Marcella said the facility at 810 Crane Street, its largest scratch-and-dent warehouse, contained more than 1,400 devices, some of which had waited months to arrive because of the shortage.

“It’s going to be a big mess because all of the people waiting for deliveries are mostly coming from this warehouse. I don’t want to know what we’re going to do,” added Marcella. “You know the main problem is? I cannot replace the products. There is no availability.”

Marcella explained that many devices are hard to come by due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a host of other issues, including shutters and long waits for parts from China and South Korea.

“They all have reorders and we’ve waited months for a lot of these goods to come in,” he said.

The businessman said he received a call around 7:30 a.m. from a company driver who smelled smoke as he went to the building on Crane Street to pick up cargo.

“Next, about 20 minutes later, I get a call to say that fire is coming from the roof,” said Marcella. “I’m trying to find out how bad the damage is, but they told me how much water they put in there.”

Assistant Fire Chief Don Mareno said someone walked into Fire Station 3 on Third Avenue, one block from the warehouse on Crane Street, and announced that the facility was on fire. Then the calls came, he said.

Mareno said firefighters found heavy smoke from the center of the warehouse of the three-story building.

He said the store suffered smoke and water damage. A fire service lieutenant suffered minor injuries.

So far, the cause of the fire is unknown, said Mareno.

Last month, Schenectady County’s Metroplex Development Authority and Better Community Neighborhoods Inc. announced that the equipment center in Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant neighborhood would be renovated for $ 250,000.

Upgrades included a new glass frontage, windows, roof, signage and landscaping for the building at the gateway to the difficult Crane Street business district.

On Tuesday, Marcella said it was unclear how the fire could affect plans to proceed with the planned facelift for the warehouse.

In addition to the Appliance Center, Marcella’s has another warehouse across the street as well as a huge showroom on Broadway and another store in Clifton Park.

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