Kips Bay fire displaces residents on Thanksgiving weekend


A firefighter at the scene (Photos by Michelle Deal Winfield)


By Michelle Deal Winfield

Residents were forced to flee their apartments when a fire broke out at a five-story building on Friday morning.

The blaze began at 238 East 24th Street at around 3:45 a.m. on the fourth and fifth floors, and soon smoke filled the air for blocks.

As firefighters fought to control the blaze, one resident was in front of the building in tears, wondering how she could salvage her clothing and valuables. The building’s owner was at the scene comforting residents concerned about their belongings. A couple visiting a relative said the woman’s cousin and his fiancée lived there but were vacationing in New Hampshire during the holidays.

One of the firefighters at the scene commented, “We were lucky here. Most of the residents were away on vacation. No one was hurt.”

After firefighters vented the roof; the fire was located and shortly before 5 a.m., it was extinguished. A spokesperson for the FDNY said the cause was still under investigation. Over 100 firefighters had responded to the fire.

Two storefronts at the building suffered water damage, Limon Restaurant and Charlie’s Laundromat, and were later boarded up. The owner of the laundry was in the process of delivering previously cleaned clothing and household goods.

An engineer from the Department of Buildings who was at the scene after the fire said he was there to assess structural damage. In the meantime, though, he said the building would be vacated and sealed. A notice to vacate was then posted out front.


Residents lug their belongings from the building.


Representatives from the American Red Cross of Greater New York were also there to provide referrals to residents for short-term assistance. Five adults have since been relocated while others self-relocated.

By 2 p.m. on Friday, five families and a neighbor from next door at 240 were allowed into the building to retrieve valuables, carrying bags or duffle bags from the building as a police officer stood guard.

The following day, Saturday, workers sealed the windows on the fourth and fifth floors.

The smoky smell has lingered, though, seeping into apartments blocks away. On Monday, neighbors next door at 240 said the smoke was making their own homes inhabitable.

There median age of tenants at 238 is 30 and there are 18 apartments at the building, which was built in 1950.


Damaged storefronts are boarded over after the fire.



4 thoughts on “Kips Bay fire displaces residents on Thanksgiving weekend

  1. Let it be known we at 236 east 24th are in an apartment directly effected by the fire and are displaced as well.

  2. The smoke from this fire spread for many blocks and affected thousands of people. We are a block away and the smoke woke up people throughout our building and lingered for may days There have been several fires in this same building over the past few years, including a major fire in 2011 which put Limon out of business for many months, and there was another fire 2 years ago. Why do these fires keep happening in the same property? The community is demanding answers, and we hope that Town and Village will find out.

  3. Pingback: Eyes Blink

  4. Pingback: Kips Bay Fire | Eyes Blink

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.