New Hartford community watches as crews tear down historic building destroyed by fire

A landmark building in New Hartford that had stood for 170 years was demolished Wednesday, one day after it was destroyed by a massive fire.
Safety concerns led to the demolition after the building burned down early Tuesday morning, leaving just a shell. Structural engineers determined there was no way to save any part of it -- a decision that wasn't made lightly.
"While our hearts our broken, we have to do what our heads is telling us is right, and we have to make sure that everybody's safe," said First Selectman Dan Jerram, of New Hartford.
Community members lined the sidewalks, watching and documenting history in the making. One woman asked crews for a post from the porch railing so she could keep a piece of it with her forever.
"It was center of New Hartford--literally, physically and emotionally the center of New Hartford. When Chatterley's restaurant was there, it was the site of wedding receptions, funeral receptions, crazy holiday parties ... It was just the place to go and the place to be," said Pat Casey, president of the New Hartford Historical Society.
The three-story structure, built in 1850, housed six business and 14 apartments.
Cleanup and debris removal is expected to take at least a week.
"It'll never be replaced like that. It'll be interesting to see what we do to fill that space now," Casey said.
Three Burlington firefighters were hospitalized after the fire -- one remains in critical condition.
Officials say 26-year-old Colin McFadden suddenly became ill at the fire and was transported to John Dempsey Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. During his care, it was discovered that a previously undiagnosed medical condition caused the illness.
Members of the Burlington Fire Department say blood donations are critical to his recovery, however blood supply in Connecticut is very low, greatly impacting hospitals.
They are urging anyone who can donate blood to do so to help McFadden and others.