Massive fire at Herkimer Diamond Mines

Massive fire at Herkimer Diamond Mines

HERKIMER – Fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a massive fire that destroyed the main building of the Herkimer Diamond Mines Saturday morning, fire officials said Saturday evening.

Crews were called to the mines on Route 28 at about 6:45 a.m. Oct. 14. Despite the efforts of nine fire departments, the building, which housed a museum and retail store, has been deemed a complete loss.

State fire investigators have been called in to determine the cause.

“No one has been hurt at the Herkimer Diamond Mines. That was our first and most important priority,” said Herkimer Diamond Mines President and Owner Renee Scialdo Shevat. “Secondly, we extend a thank you to the nine fire departments for arriving to put the fire out.”

Despite the morning blaze, the diamond mines themselves remained open Saturday, and shall remain open as scheduled through Nov. 1, when it is scheduled to close for season, Scialdo Shevat said.

“The diamonds are a half billion years old and in one of the most sustainable environments in the area,” she said. “And we thank Mother Nature for not allowing anything in all three of our diamond mines to be damaged. We are in business and we will continue to move forward.”

Neither the nearby restaurant, nor the KOA campgrounds across the street sustained any damage from the fire.

The Herkimer Diamonds Mines, where visitors can mine for diamond-like quartz crystals, opened to the public in 1955. The building that burned down Saturday, however, dates back to the mid 1800s.

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