The Rochester Fire Department has ruled the three-alarm fire at the former AC Delco factory on Lyell Avenue as arson.
Firefighters battled the blaze Friday afternoon on Rochester's west side. Steady snow and strong winds made for fighting the fire difficult.
The fire broke out just after 12 p.m. Friday at the former AC Delco factory on Lyell Avenue. When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the third floor of the building.
Crews attempted to fight the fire from the inside. However, because of the building's unstable condition, firefighters were quickly pulled from the building, and crews then attacked it from the outside.
"Previous fires in this complex the buildings have collapsed at least in some portion,” said Chief John Caufield of the Rochester Fire Department. “Little to be gained here in terms of saving anything of value, so we don't want to put our firefighters at any undue risk."
The fire remains under investigation and may throw a wrench into the city's plans to sell the building.
Just this past week, City Council voted to spend nearly a half million dollars in state and federal funding to clean up the long vacant building.
City economic development officials said there was interest in purchasing the building. Officials now say they will have to wait and see how much damage the fire caused to the structure.
No one was injured in the blaze.