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Despatch Junction fire!!


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Terrible news, there is a massive fire at Despatch Junction the train shop in East Rochester. I have been entering stock on their web site and keeping you guys informed about Japanese stock.  This is going to be a total loss.  Its still burning right now (7:00pm EST).  The shops was in an old freight station on the now CSX main line.

Here's a link to one of the local stations with the story-



I'm bummed for the owner and for all of us in the hobby as this was a good shop.




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The WHEC Rochester news link you posted doesn't mention any injuries related to the fire.  If true, that is fortunate. 


My thoughts are with the owner right now; I can't imagine how devastating it must be to lose your livelihood to something like this. 


And this really is a loss for the hobby, as Despatch Junction's prices and selection of Japanese trains were tough to match, at least in the US.

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Most important I hope nobody was hurt in the blaze!

And what a massive fire....My thoughts and prays for the owner.

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oh what a horror! hopefully no one hurt. loosing everything like that is horrible. happened to our family as a kid when part of the house burned but smoke damage took out like 85% of the stuff in the house. in this case livelihoods are lost here which can be devistating. hopefully insurance will kick in, but that never replaces everything.



Edited by cteno4
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Just got back from the scene. The owner is obviously devastated. Nobody was there so there were no injuries. It's a total loss. The fire companies were tearing the back of the building down to get to the interior where there is still fire burning when I left at 9:15.

The building is listed as the oldest building in east rochester (previously known as Despatch). It was East Rochester's 1st depot in the late 1800's and then a NYC depot. Became a commercial building in the early 1960's.


This is an historical loss as well as a loss to hobby.


Edited by dottney
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Assessment is going on. As can be seen there is a pile of rubble. Maybe some things survived but we haven't been able to get into the piles to see.

I'll update as info becomes available.

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Sorry to hear, I hope that the owner find the strength to start again


Yes, the show must go on!


I look forward to the opening of Shin-Despatch Junction.

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I stopped by late yesterday afternoon and joined employees and the owner pick through the piles. Hard going as the building was knocked down then the rubble was pushed around by a backhoe get at hot spots the day after the fire. Very little was found intact. Some odd surprises though- a couple KLine passenger cars intact with soaked/destroyed boxes next to some destroyed stuff. A couple of Kato Japanese sets in the book folios. The cases charred and melted but some of the cars inside look intact but wet and a bit smelly. On the other hand we found a number other Kato and Tomix sets that were melted. A lot of stuff suffered no fire damage but was crushed. Most stuff though is burned and/or melted.

I thought I found a pile that might contain a lot of the British OO stuff late in the afternoon. Today there was a small excavator on hand to help move debris. When I stopped to see how things were one of guys said they didn't find any more OO stuff in that pile.


I'm going over there later today to help out again. Unfortunately hopes of finding stuff fades. It was a really hot fire and stuff that wasn't burned or melted was crushed when the debris piles were pushed, shoved and scooped to get at hot spots. We're still looking for the PoS computer hoping to recover customer contact info (NO CUSTOMER FINANCIAL/CREDIT INFO WAS STORED ON SITE, ANY MAIL ORDER CUSTOMER INFO IS REMOTELY STORED).

I have not talked to the owner about his plans. Again I'll update as more news comes.

Thanks for all the kind words. I'm passing them along to the others who work at the shop and the owner.


Edited by dottney
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