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After fire, City Blue Imaging prepares to look for a new space

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The remains of the former City Blue Imaging builidng on Scio St. from the morning of Monday, Dec. 28. - PHOTO BY JEREMY MOULE
  • The remains of the former City Blue Imaging builidng on Scio St. from the morning of Monday, Dec. 28.
The owner of a Rochester printing company which has deep roots in the city is working to regroup and stay in business after a devastating fire on Christmas Eve.

It’s not what you might expect to hear from an owner of a company which burned to the ground, but Mark Cleary, president of City Blue Imaging said that he actually feels “blessed.” He uses that word not only because there were no serious injuries as dozens of firefighters fought a huge fire at his company’s facility on Scio Street on Thursday night, but because so many people have reached out via phone, text and social media to support City Blue and its staff.

City Blue Imaging President Mark Cleary - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • City Blue Imaging President Mark Cleary
And Cleary says that includes other printing companies.

“Several of my competitors, the people from Canfield & Tack especially, have reached out to me personally and said, we are here for you guys, if you need us.” Cleary said that he will hire other printing companies to reprint jobs he had that were pending when the fire hit.

At the same time, he said that City Blue Imaging expects to look for a new location. Cleary said with the trend in Rochester’s East End moving toward housing and not as much manufacturing, he’d like to look for a new spot in the city and this time, lease a building, rather than build a new one.

“Maybe it’s just time for us to find a smaller space and we’ll kind of work on what we can do creatively to clean up and just take it from there.” But Cleary emphasized the nearly century-old company definitely wants to remain in the city. “Much of our customers are still very much in the core of the city so I would just want to find a place that would be able to handle our equipment and that had a dock and then I’d be happy.”

But for now, Cleary will use some space that his neighbors at For now, the company will operate out of an office at 84 Scio St., the Rochester Quaker Meeting House, are making available for City Blue Imaging for a temporary spot for their business operations.

Cleary said that he is heartened by all of the support he has received from phone calls, texts and social media since the Christmas Eve fire.

“The thought that so many people on the holiday were taking time out to wish us well and multiple people said I’m here for you and how can we help…I felt very blessed,” Cleary said.

The cause of the massive three-alarm fire, which brought dozens of firefighters to East Ave. and Scio St. in Rochester's East End on Thursday night remained under investigation through the holiday weekend.

The fire was reported just after 10:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and fire officials said that when they got to the large, two-story brick building, they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the building. Crews initially were able to get inside the building, but faced high heat and heavy smoke.

Authorities said it was tough to fight the fire because of the size of the building, its limited entry points, and lack of windows. Firefighters were ordered out of the building because of the deteriorating conditions and concerns about structural stability of the building.

The crews continued to pour water on the building from the outside using multiple aerial ladder trucks. The front of the building did eventually collapse.

There were no reported civilian injuries but one firefighter suffered an injury believed to be minor. Authorities said there were about 70 firefighters on scene and it took hours to get it under control. They said that with the very quick response by fire crews, they were able to keep the flames from spreading to other buildings.

Firefighters remained at the scene, still putting water on hot spots into Friday morning.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at