Demolition underway on Falconer building

Photo by Katrina Fuller Brian Nelson, owner of 15 W. Main St. and the Falconer Vac Shop, and others watched as demolition began on his building on Wednesday afternoon. Nelson owned the building for 30 years, but was involved with it in some way for the past 48 years.

FALCONER — Another piece of Falconer’s cityscape has officially been lost following the fire earlier this week.

The demolition of 15 W. Main Street in Falconer began Wednesday in the view of its owner, Brian Nelson. As the bricks and mortar tumbled under the weight of the excavator’s arm, Nelson stood watching in the cold.

“I just want to thank everyone for their help and support,” Nelson said. “I don’t know what else to say. Just last week, I was in there working.”

Crews began demolishing the building Wednesday afternoon. The structure caught fire on Sunday morning just down the street from where a blaze had occurred less than a year before.

Community members stood outside to catch a glimpse of the demolition, while others watched from their vehicles. With each movement of the excavator, more of the inside of the building was revealed.

In one section, dishes remained on a shelving unit in what was once an apartment.

Chautauqua County fire investigators announced Tuesday they could not determine the cause of the blaze, which was reported around 11:55 a.m. and brought in almost a dozen local fire departments. Investigators said the fire likely started in the building’s attic.

The fire was not considered suspicious.

Nelson has been involved with the building in some form for decades. He started working at Falconer Hardware as a teenager in the 1970s, just two days after his 16th birthday.

Nelson said the debris from the demolition will be removed as quickly as possible.