Man arrested for arson at Bellevue

Bellevue Hospital Center (Photo courtesy of HHC)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 24-year-old man was arrested after allegedly setting fires inside Bellevue Hospital.

Police said that a security guard saw Jason Peterson-Ridge on video surveillance starting multiple fires on three different floors shortly after he was discharged as a patient at the hospital on September 24 at 10 p.m.

According to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Peterson-Ridge approached a hand sanitizer stand inside the hospital and filled the catching tray with hand sanitizer, then lit the vapors, causing them to ignite and start a fire.

The FDNY said that the fire caused the dispenser to melt, resulting in damage to the floor and additionally caused charring to the wall and smoke damage to the wall and ceiling.

Police said that he fled to his apartment nearby, where he was arrested a few hours later at 1:46 a.m.

Peterson-Ridge’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

 

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Fire next door to T&V office

FDNY in front of T&V’s office at 20 West 22nd Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village’s office on West 22nd Street was evacuated on Thursday afternoon when a fire was reported in a neighboring building. The FDNY determined that the incident was a duct fire inside Cote, the restaurant on the ground floor of the 12-story building at 16 West 22nd Street. It was originally reported as an electrical fire with a light smoke condition at the scene. Other office workers on the ninth floor reported smelling smoke inside the building but the smell did not reach T&V’s offices on the 15th floor.

The FDNY said that 12 units, which include fire trucks and ambulances, responded to the scene, as well as 60 fire and EMS personnel. Fire marshals are investigating the incident but a spokesperson for the FDNY said that officials believe it was a grease fire.

The FDNY said that the situation was under control by 1:25 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

Ten rescued after sea plane crashes in East River

July27 seaplane rescue

Sea plane passenger rescue in action (Photo courtesy of NYC’s official website)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD rescued 10 people on the East River last Friday afternoon when a sea plane took a hard landing near East 23rd Street around 5:30 p.m. Police told CBS New York that the East Hampton-bound plane tried to take off three times but failed, and the nine passengers and the plane’s pilot were evacuated by the NYPD Harbor Unit.

FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala said at a press conference following the incident that struts supporting the left wing broke, which caused the aircraft to slant when it landed in the river.

Officials did not have further information on what caused the initial problems when the plane was attempting to take off, but Gala said that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the incident.

TV producer Bill Lawrence, creator of “Scrubs” and “Spin City,” was one of the nine passengers rescued, along with his daughter. He told the news outlets at the scene that the plane seemed to reach an altitude of about 20 feet after trying to take off twice before it came down hard onto the river following the third attempt. Lawrence didn’t film the crash itself but posted photos on Instagram and Twitter showing the cockeyed plane with a wing partially submerged in the water.

Fly Tailwind, the plane’s operator, did not respond to a request for comment.

 

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.

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.

Three PCV buildings lose power, since restored, due to smoke condition in wiring

(Photo via Wikipedia)

(Photo via Wikipedia)

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, an electrical short in some underground wiring caused a power outage in three buildings in Peter Cooper Village.

At around 12:20 a.m. the short caused smoke to start billowing out of two manhole covers located between 2 Peter Cooper Road and 510 East 23rd Street, according to a Facebook post from property management. The buildings 3, 4 and 5 Peter Cooper Road were then left without power and heat.

A resident at 3 Peter Cooper told Town & Village she was told by public safety officers that there was a transformer fire impacting the building. However, a spokesperson for the FDNY couldn’t confirm the presence of fire as opposed to just smoke conditions to T&V.

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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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Elderly man fatally struck by ambulance at 14th St. and Second Ave.

Accident1 cropped

A man was hit by this ambulance as it turned left onto East 14th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

An 81-year-old man died after being hit by an ambulance on Monday afternoon as he crossed the street at the 14th Street and Second Avenue intersection.

According to police, the man, who was later identified as Gen Zhan, a resident of East 29th Street, was crossing as the ambulance was on Second Avenue, making a left turn onto 14th.

Zhan suffered severe body trauma after being hit and was taken to Bellevue, but doctors were unable to save him.

Later at the scene the ambulance’s emergency lights were still flashing although police didn’t have information on whether there had been a patient inside at the time of the accident.

One emergency responder said Zhan had actually gone against the light and hit the side of the ambulance, a blind spot, after it turned. He then fell back and hit his head. A police spokesperson said she didn’t have any information on whether he was going against the light. However, she said he had tried to run across the street, but didn’t make it and was hit while on the crosswalk.

Around two dozen cops and FDNY emergency officials responded to the scene and part of the intersection was closed to traffic for the remainder of the afternoon.

A rep for police said the matter was still under investigation, but no criminality was suspected. The ambulance driver, 22, remained at the scene. The case is being handled by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Zhan was a resident of Renwick Gardens, an apartment complex for seniors in Kips Bay.

E. 14th St. firehouse gets renovated

The firehouse on East 14th Street was empty this week.

The firehouse on East 14th Street was empty this week.

By Sabina Mollot

The firehouse at 340 East 14th Street known as Engine 5 is getting a makeover.

The station, which is marked by a flag announcing its 150-year legacy over the bright red building, was being emptied out this week, an eagle-eyed reader informed T&V. The reader, who’d passed by on Monday, and snapped this photo, witnessed as a moving truck was parked outside while the firehouse appeared empty.

Town & Village then reached out to the FDNY to ask if the firehouse would be shut down or relocated but got no answer.

However, a man who answered the door for our reporter later said it was just in the midst of a renovation. The man, who said he was a contractor, said things were already being moved back into the building, where all three floors are apparently “all new.” Asked where the firefighters were during the project, he said they were sharing space with another firehouse though he didn’t know which one.

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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Man arrested after crashing taxi, injuring other driver on 1st Ave.

Ilir Kuka was arrested after allegedly driving off in the cab he’d been riding in, going the wrong direction and hitting a minivan. (Pictured) Emergency responders at the scene (Photo by Steve Kaufman)

Ilir Kuka was arrested after allegedly driving off in the cab he’d been riding in, going the wrong direction and hitting a minivan. (Pictured) Emergency responders at the scene (Photo by Steve Kaufman)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 25-year-old Ilir Kuka for crashing a taxi into a minivan in front of Stuyvesant Town, injuring the mini-van’s driver. Kuka was not a cabbie, but allegedly drove off in the cab he’d been riding in after getting into an argument with the driver, only to go in the wrong direction, causing the accident.

The driver said he’d picked Kuka up in his taxi last Tuesday on Third Avenue between East 10th and 11th Streets around 10:30 p.m. Not long after the driver picked him up, they began to argue, and both men got out of the car. When the driver got out, he left the keys in the ignition and Kuka then allegedly got into the cab and drove away.

The driver said that Kuka drove north on Third Avenue towards East 14th Street, allegedly hitting a woman’s car on the passenger’s side just south of East 14th, causing a large dent. The woman said that he continued driving and she saw him turn right from Third Avenue onto East 15th Street, traveling in the wrong direction on the road.

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Man arrested for fatal hit-and-run on FDR Drive

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man for allegedly leaving the scene after a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive that killed Anthony Pham, a 29-year-old San Francisco resident.

Mirsad Dzaferovic, 34, was collared on Saturday morning for the accident that occurred a day earlier, in the early morning, on the northbound side of the FDR near East 28th Street. The FDNY received a call around 12:35 a.m. and police responded to the scene at about 1:05 a.m.

When they got there, officers discovered Pham lying in the roadway with head trauma. Dzaferovic had allegedly left the scene without waiting for police and allegedly continued to drive north on the FDR. Pham was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police tracked down Dzaferovic through vehicle parts, including a mirror and door handle with grey paint, that were scattered in the street close to the victim. A check on the serial number of the parts showed that they were from a Toyota Camry and police recovered a car matching that description that was also missing a side mirror and door handle that was registered to Dzaferovic.

The suspect allegedly told police that he was driving that car at the date, time and location of the crash.

A preliminary investigation found that the victim was either standing on the FDR or attempting to cross the highway when he was hit by the car, but no further information about how he got into the roadway was available.

Man killed in hit-and-run on the FDR

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 29-year-old man was hit by a car and killed in a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive near East 28th Street early on Friday. FDNY received a call around 12:35 a.m. and police responded to the scene, the northbound side, at about 1:05 a.m. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation found that the victim was either standing on the FDR or was attempting to cross the highway when he was hit by the car, but no further information about how he got into the roadway was available. Police said that he was struck by a dark grey vehicle that did not remain on the scene and continued north. The NYPD said that the investigation is ongoing by the department’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Identification of the victim is pending family notification.

Woman seriously injured by van on Fifth Avenue

Police respond to the scene of the accident at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. (Photo by Dan Orlando)

Police respond to the scene of the accident at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. (Photo by Dan Orlando)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 51-year-old woman is in serious condition after a van hit her while she was crossing Fifth Avenue near 21st Street on Monday morning. A spokesperson for the FDNY said that the call about the incident came in at 8:48 a.m. and the victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital. No further information about her condition was made available.

Police said that the victim was crossing the avenue when she was struck by the driver, who was turning left from 21st Street, and it was unclear if she was in the crosswalk at the time of the collision.

According to Gothamist, the driver remained on the scene. Police said that the driver has not been charged.