View Full Version : NYC Blaze Called Biggest Since WTC Attack

05-02-2006, 07:49 PM
NYC blaze called biggest since WTC attack


Associated Press

NEW YORK - A raging fire laid waste to a complex of seven old warehouses on the Brooklyn waterfront Tuesday, creating a huge plume of smoke that evoked memories of the World Trade Center attacks nearly five years ago.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said the cause of the 10-alarm fire would be investigated as possible arson. He called it the largest fire in the city in more than a decade, excluding the trade center attack.

The flames were clearly visible from the east side of Manhattan, where rubberneckers slowed morning rush-hour traffic. The acrid smoke, smelling at times of wood, rose in a huge black cloud visible for miles.

The fire started before dawn, blazed furiously for six hours and continued burning into the early evening. More than 400 firefighters were called to the scene, and five fireboats pumped water on the blaze from the East River.

The ruined warehouse complex was part of an historic waterfront area marked for redevelopment as high-rise housing.

The complex was officially unoccupied, though it was unclear whether squatters were living there, fire officials said. It was also not clear what was inside the warehouses, but Scoppetta said bales of cloth burned in one of the buildings.

05-02-2006, 07:53 PM
Cause of Brooklyn Blaze Is Under Investigation


Published: May 2, 2006

More than 400 New York City firefighters battled a sprawling nine-alarm fire this morning in a complex of seven abandoned warehouses in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

A warehouse fire in Greenpoint sent plumes of smoke over the city. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported in the fire, which began about 5:30 a.m. and quickly escalated. Twelve firefighters were reported to have suffered minor injuries and five were taken to Bellevue Hospital. The remaining seven were treated at the scene.

More than 90 firefighting units, including at least eight ladder towers and five fireboats, responded to the fire at the warehouse complex on West Street between Quay and Noble Streets.

Dark billowing plumes of black smoke reached into the air and drifted over the East River. Flames rose 70 to 80 feet above the five-story buildings, owned by Joshua Guttman, on a parcel of land about 200 by 800 feet.

"It was like a flame thrower," said John Czapkinski, 65, who lives on Noble Street about a block away from the site of the fire.

By 7 p.m., the fire was still burning and firefighters were expected to remain on the scene well into the night.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said that the fire had been deemed suspicious in nature and was under investigation but that the cause remained unknown. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who visited the scene, said, "There was a guard here overnight. He apparently left and the fire broke out."

Mr. Bloomberg added that when firefighters arrived "there was an enormous amount of fire — and that itself leads one to believe that perhaps there was an accelerant used to get the fire going."

Excluding the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, "this is unquestionably the largest fire we've had in more than 10 years," Mr. Scoppetta said, adding, "This is a huge fire."

In 1995, the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights was gutted in a 10-alarm fire, which more than 500 firefighters battled.

Shortly after 9 a.m. large walls of the seven buildings began collapsing into the streets, sending bricks flying up to 100 feet.

A shower of bricks, plaster and beams crashed to the sidewalk on West Street at 9: 37 a.m. Two minutes later most of the east wall of the same building collapsed, heaping bricks onto West Street.

At 9:46 a.m. the facade of a building closer to the East River tipped forward, peeled away from the structure and left twisted metal stanchions sticking out of a pile of brick.

"It's a little odd," said Richard Divito, 47, a longtime neighborhood resident. "This parcel is worth hundreds of millions of dollars."

05-02-2006, 07:58 PM
I hope everyone is alright.