Kips Bay fire that killed two dogs was electrical

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A fire in Kips Bay that killed two dogs but left no residents injured was electrical, the FDNY said.

A spokesperson for the FDNY told Town & Village there was a problem with the electrical wiring in the ceiling of a fourth-floor apartment.

The fire had broken out in a four-story building at 122 Lexington Avenue on Monday, the day after Christmas.

The New York Post reported that the blaze started in a fourth floor apartment of the building, which is near East 28th Street, and spread to the third floor and roof, also damaging a restaurant on the ground.

Officials told the Post that residents were not able to return to their apartments on the third and fourth floors on Monday night but apartments on the second floor may still have been habitable.

The FDNY said that the fire started around 6 p.m. and was under control about 20 minutes later. Three firefighters were sent to Bellevue with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Fire at NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

A fire broke out at the NYU Langone Medical Center on Wednesday at around noon, on a construction site at the facility.

A spokesperson for the hospital said it was not a patient area and no patients were injured in the fire, which was extinguished by 1 p.m.

The fire started on the seventh floor rooftop where a new hospital building, scheduled to open in 2018, is under construction.

According to spokesperson Lisa Grenier, the fire was confined to this area. However, as a precaution, some patients in rooms on the north side of Tisch Hospital facing the construction were moved to the south side of the floor.

“They have since been located back to their rooms,” Grenier said. “Currently we are investigating cause and the extent of damage.”

An emailed alert from the city said area residents should expect smoke, traffic delays due to the presence of emergency responders. Neighbors were advised to close their windows and not linger outside.

The hospital is located at First Avenue and East 30th Street.

Kips Bay fire displaces residents on Thanksgiving weekend

fireman-in-store

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.

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On 50th anniversary, FDNY remembers the 23rd Street fire

 

By Sabina Mollot

Fifty years ago on Monday, October 17, twelve firefighters lost their lives battling a blaze in Flatiron, making the date the deadliest the department would ever know until 9/11.

The fire, which was hidden at first due to illegal building alterations, had prevented firefighters from knowing just what a dangerous situation they were in for.

On Monday, dozens of fire officials and rank and file, along with family members of the fallen firemen, gathered at the Flatiron Plaza for a remembrance ceremony and then a wreath laying at the site of the fire at the corner of 23rd Street and Broadway. Today, it’s home to a high-rise residential building with a plaque alongside it memorializing the deceased firemen.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro spoke at the ceremony about how the 1966 fire is still a big part of training for firefighters today.

“Every probationary firefighter learns about this in the academy; 23rd Street has been the subject of countless drills,” the commissioner said. “This was the department’s darkest tragedy… and remained so until 9/11.”

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Car in Stuy Town garage scorched in fire

The cause of the fire is being investigated, but is not considered suspicious. (Photo by Tom Nonnon)

The cause of the fire is being investigated, but is not considered suspicious. (Photo by Tom Nonnon)

By Sabina Mollot

A car that had been parked in a Stuyvesant Town garage got charred in a fire that started in the car on Sunday night (May 15).

According to a resident who called Town & Village, the smell of smoke and burning metal was in the air when he passed the 410 East 20th Street garage on his way home at about 8:10 p.m. He then looked up to see smoke billowing out of a vent. He stuck around for a bit and noticed that it was getting worse, so he called security and fire trucks soon responded to the scene. The resident, Tom Nonnon, went home but returned to the scene once the fire was extinguished.

The car that went ablaze, Nonnon added, had Connecticut plates and he’d been told it was owned by one of the supervisors.

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Landmarked Flatiron church gutted by fire

Police at the scene of the fire at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava closed off the block in case the destroyed church on West 25th Street collapsed. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Police at the scene of the fire at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava closed off the block in case the destroyed church on West 25th Street collapsed. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A four-alarm fire gutted a Serbian Orthodox church at 24 West 25th Street on Sunday evening, following services earlier that day that took place for Orthodox Easter. Because the services ended earlier in the afternoon, no one was inside the church at the time the fire broke out around 6:50 p.m. but the blaze left the interior of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in shambles, burning the roof off of the landmarked structure that has been in the neighborhood since 1855. FDNY said that one civilian and four firefighters were taken to Bellevue Hospital for smoke inhalation and no other injuries were reported.

Police at the scene on Monday morning said that the street would be closed until investigators could determine that the remaining part of the building still standing was structurally sound and wouldn’t collapse. The officer noted that a collapse was unlikely but the street remained closed as a precaution. Only employees working at buildings on the street were allowed past the police barricades. FDNY noted on Wednesday morning that the cause is still under investigation but the fire is considered non-suspicious.

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Stuy Town man facing eviction for starting fires

653 East 14th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

653 East 14th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Blackstone and Ivanhoé Cambridge filed a lawsuit against a longtime Stuyvesant Town tenant at the beginning of this month because the resident has reportedly had a history of terrifying his neighbors with erratic behavior and setting fires in his apartment.

The New York Post originally reported the lawsuit between the owner and resident Max Chalawsky last Sunday and the suit was filed on April 1. The landlord, officially referred to as BPP ST in the suit, is seeking permanent injunctive relief and damages against Chalawsky because of his “severely destructive behavior” detailed in the suit, which included leaving pots unattended on a gas stove and reconnecting gas lines. The suit also alleges that Chalawsky behaved menacingly towards his neighbors and building personnel and it seeks an injunction to bar him from tampering with the gas lines, as well as damages no less than $25,000.

The suit noted nine different incidents since last year that variously involved the NYPD, FDNY, EMS, other tenants and staff in his building. Five of the incidents resulted in his being taken to Bellevue or Beth Israel for observation and in a more than one instance, Chalawsky reportedly removed a cap that had been placed on his gas line.

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Fire in PCV injures 5

A firefighter gets ready to enter a fourth floor apartment at 601 East 20th Street. Photo via FDNY)

A firefighter gets ready to enter a fourth floor apartment at 601 East 20th Street. (Photo via FDNY)

By Sabina Mollot

An older resident was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in a Peter Cooper Village apartment on Friday. The blaze, which the Fire Department got the call about at 5:13 p.m. took 29 minutes to get under control, with 20 units and 78 firefighters at the scene.

The resident, James Masterson, has been treated and released and is now fine, according to a woman who works for the couple as a caretaker. She wasn’t working at the apartment that day but said Masterson and his wife Bernadette were both home at the time the fire broke out.

“He inhaled smoke, but he’s fine now; they’re both fine,” she said.

The address where the fire broke out was on the fourth floor at 601 East 20th Street, which is on Avenue C.

The FDNY said that after the fire, four firefighters were taken to different local hospitals with minor injuries and one civilian was also taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition. The FDNY said it couldn’t confirm that it was Masterson or even the age of the patient.

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Transformer fire prompts evacuation at NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

By Sabina Mollot

A transformer fire broke out at NYU Langone Medical Center Thursday afternoon, leading to partial evacuation of the facility.

No one was injured, and the FDNY and Con Ed have both responded to the scene.

A spokesperson for the Fire Department said the call came in at 3:43 p.m. but he did not know what the cause of the transformer fire was. A spokesperson for the hospital, at First Avenue and 30th Street, said she didn’t know either, but issued the following statement:

A smoke situation has occurred due to a transformer fire in a non-patient area at NYU Langone. Out of caution a non-patient facility was evacuated, and no injuries have been reported. FDNY is on site and the situation is under control – there is no danger to patients or NYU Langone faculty and staff.”

A spokesperson for Con Ed said at 5:30 p.m. that a team had just been dispatched to the hospital a half hour earlier, and that as far as he knew, there was no power disruption. He also said the utility still wasn’t sure if the incident involved any Con Ed equipment.

Aug6 NYU Langone

East Village recovering from explosion, DA starts investigation

Firefighters work to put out last Thursday’s deadly fire. (Photo by Robert Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)

Firefighters work to put out last Thursday’s deadly fire. (Photo by Robert Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

One week ago on Thursday, three buildings on Second Avenue near East 7th Street collapsed due to an explosion and fire last Thursday that killed two people. The first two buildings to collapse were 121 and 123 Second Avenue on Thursday afternoon and the fire that followed the explosion largely gutted the third building involved, 119 Second Avenue. Firefighters at the scene demolished the parts of the building’s façade that remained standing with water on Thursday evening, The New York Times reported.

The FDNY had gotten the emergency call from 125 Second Avenue at 3:17 p.m. and while that building did not collapse, it was heavily fire damaged, although additional information about the conditions was not immediately available.

The mayor confirmed last Thursday evening that the explosion was caused by plumbing and gas work that was going on in 121 Second Avenue and Con Edison said on Thursday that the building had failed an inspection earlier that day.

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Major explosion causes building collapse, fire on Second Ave. at East 7th

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By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A building on Second Avenue near East 7th Street has collapsed due to an explosion and fire earlier this afternoon, the FDNY confirmed. The collapse occurred at 123 Second Avenue and  FDNY said that 121 Second Avenue had also partially collapsed, but it was unclear whether this was a direct result of the explosion or occurred later. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference on Thursday evening that 119 and 125 Second Avenue have also been affected, and FDNY said that the emergency call came from 125 Second Avenue at 3:17 p.m. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that the area around 119 Second Avenue was vacated because of a possible collapse of that building as well, as a result of the fire that extended there following the explosion.

The FDNY does not know the cause of the incident yet but police at the scene said that it was consistent with a gas explosion. The mayor confirmed that explosion appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work that was going on in 121 Second Avenue, but the investigation is still ongoing. The mayor added that the FDNY is dealing with a seven-alarm incident and have contained fires in all four of the buildings so far. 

Second Avenue was closed from East 14th Street to Houston after the explosion. The affected buildings included a number of apartments as well as restaurants Sushi Park at 121 Second Ave. and Pommes Frites at 123 Second Ave.

Notify NYC reported that the New York City Unified Victim Identification System (UVIS) was activated in response to the fire. Anyone concerned about the welfare of someone who may have been affected by the collapse and are unable to contact them should call 311. From outside of NYC, relatives and friends can call (212) 639-9675. The American Red Cross has also opened a reception center at P.S. 63 at 121 East 3rd Street in Manhattan.

“Today our community’s heart is breaking,” Council Member Rosie Mendez said in response to the tragedy. “My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy. I am working closely with emergency services, my colleagues in government and with community leaders to respond to this horrible event. I thank the people of New York for the outpouring of concern and support. We pray for the victims and their families.”

On Thursday evening, Con Ed also issued a statement, noting the building had failed an inspection.

“Con Edison is working with fire officials and other agencies at the scene of today’s explosion and building collapse on 2nd Avenue near 7th Street in the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan,” the utility said.

“Earlier today, Con Edison personnel were at the location to evaluate work the building plumber was doing inside 121 2nd Ave. in connection with a gas service upgrade. The work failed our inspection for several reasons, including insufficient spacing for the installation of the meter in the basement.

“We had no reports of gas odors in the area prior to the fire and explosion. A survey conducted yesterday of the gas mains on the block found no leaks. We continue to work with all agencies on the investigation into the cause, and we are praying for the recovery of all the injured.”

Fire at Stuy Town Associated supermarket

Associated supermarket (Photo via Foursquare)

Associated supermarket (Photo via Foursquare)

By Sabina Mollot

Now those are some hot peppers!

On Monday, firefighters put out a fire at the Associated supermarket in Stuyvesant Town that had started in the produce section’s pepper display.

Store manager Norman Quintanilla told Town & Village it was a small fire, so small in fact that it was snuffed out just using a fire extinguisher. The cause was apparently a burnt wire that had shorted out behind the produce case.

“It was a small, little fire,” said Quintanilla. “Mostly smoke.”

The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. when the store was closed but an employee who was on duty at the time smelled smoke.

He called the FDNY, and Quintanilla said by the time he got there at 4 a.m., the fire was out. The FDNY had to break the door to gain entry, but by 5 a.m., a worker had arrived to fix the door. Quintanilla said on Tuesday that the only damage to the store was to a four-foot section of the produce case but he said employees have since cleaned it up.

“There was a slight smell, but now it’s gone,” he said.

A spokesperson for the FDNY confirmed that the fire, which was responded to by 30 firefighters, was electrical. The spokesperson added that the fire was actually extinguished before the department’s arrival. Quintanilla noted that the responders checked out the area behind produce section to make sure it wasn’t smoldering anywhere else.

Two fires in Stuy Town this week

By Sabina Mollot
As construction work was ongoing at an Avenue C building, a fire started at around 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday night. According to a resident of 315 Avenue C, the smoke could be smelled in apartments and three firetrucks responded to what was apparently a welding accident.

Initially, a rep for the FDNY said the only record of a fire that was responded to was a rubbish fire that started in a dumpster located near Avenue C. The Fire Dept. rep said he suspected that was the same incident the resident reported. However, another spokesperson for the FDNY, Elisheva Zakheim, later also said a fire was called in at 9:50 p.m. with trucks responding to 321 Avenue C three minutes and 21 seconds later. At that time, firefighters found smoke conditions resulting from the fire that was extinguished before they got there by workers who had been “sweating a pipe.” Firefighters then searched that building and the adjacent building, 315, to make sure there was no other fire and to ventilate and clear smoke. They left the scene after 38 minutes and no one was injured.

The fire broke had broken out while water was shut down at 315 as well as 319 and 321 Avenue C.
The water shutdown had been scheduled ahead of time due to the construction. However it continued hours past when the water was supposed to come back on, which was 4 p.m. The resident who spoke with T&V said water still wasn’t even back on by 10 p.m., leaving him and his neighbors unable to wash or flush the toilet.

“I understand situations happen,” he said, “but one, they should have communicated updates – they have our email addresses and can have public safety hang signs – and two, they should have made accommodations for the restroom.”

We’ll update this post when we hear back from CWCapital on the fire and water shutdown.

There was also a fire on Friday evening, that 20 trucks with almost 80 firefighters responded to at 287 Avenue C in Stuyvesant Town. The blaze, which was reported at 9:30 p.m., was accidental, fire marshals determined, caused by tea candles. According to the FDNY, the fire was brought under control 31 minutes after the call with no injuries.

This article was updated to include additional information from the FDNY.

Fundraiser tonight for non-Sandy related disaster – the East Yoga fire

Firemen respond to East Yoga on November 4.

East Yoga, a studio located on East 13th Street, was destroyed in an electrical fire on November 4. However, owners are hoping to reopen and a benefit will be held tonight, Sunday, November 18 from 6 p.m.-closing time at Pouring Ribbons. Pouring Ribbons, a new cocktail lounge, located at 225 Avenue B, has donated the space (on the second floor) for the occasion and at least 10 percent of all food and drink sales will be donated to East Yoga’s rebuilding efforts. There will also be a silent auction featuring everything from homemade scarves to Adirondack getaways.

At this time, there are still plenty of ways to get involved, like donate a product or service to the auction or offer legal and or real estate assistance at reduced rates for the reopening effort. To help, contact info@eastyoga.com. Organizers are hopping to meet a $10,000 goal by December 9 to cover expenses related to the fire.

In the meantime, classes are being held at various temporary locations, including Alphabet City Sanctuary. Check East Yoga’s website for the latest updates.

To donate, visit East Yoga partner Lucky Ant. Free classes are being offered as a reward for donations.

Inside the studio