Burglary and arson at Elite Machine & Design

South Line firefighter extinguish a fire inside a recreational vehicle at Elite Machine & Design Inc. on June 8th.  The arson destroyed the RV, several trailers, and a few race cars.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
South Line firefighter extinguish a fire inside a recreational vehicle at Elite Machine & Design Inc. on June 8th.  The arson destroyed the RV, several trailers, and a few race cars.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – The Cheektowaga Police Department is investigating an overnight arson and burglary at Elite Machine & Design Inc. at the dead end of Dewberry Lane off Scrivner Drive.

South Line firefighters were alerted to a fire inside a recreational vehicle during the 2 o’clock hour Friday morning.  The RV was parked away from the business.

“When we arrived on location we had the camper fully involved.  It had extended to one of the trailers that has a vehicle inside and it started to extend to a third trailer,” said South Line Fire Chief Andrew Dayton.  “We got a good knock on it.  We had a little bit of propane exploding inside, but other than that, it was a basic fire.”

While at the fire, Cheektowaga Chronicle observed several other cars with their windows smashed out and an open door on a different motorhome.

Cheektowaga Police investigate a burglary and arson at Elite Machine & Design Inc. on June 8th.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Cheektowaga Police investigate a burglary and arson at Elite Machine & Design Inc. on June 8th.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

“We have some evidence that we’re processing.  It looks like it’s some kind of burglary and arson,” said Assistant Chief of Police Jim Speyer.  “The trailers held race cars that were damaged.  Extensive damage, but we do not have an amount yet, but it does look like foul play.”

Cheektowaga Chronicle attempted to reach a representative from Elite Machine & Design Inc. by phone late Friday morning but a publicly listed phone number on their website goes directly to a full voice mailbox.

Mr. Speyer says it appears to be an obvious cause of arson, but the means in which the fire was started is still under investigation.