BREAKING: Fire on Smith and Warren

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We’ve received several tips in the last few minutes that a large fire had broken out at the corner of Smith and Warren Streets. Judging by this photo, it appears the small yellow building one in from the corner at 178 Smith Street. According to one tipster, the area “reeks of smoke.”
Photo by Sarah Berger
Update: Three more shots of the blaze on the jump…

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Photo by Sarah Brin

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Photo by Clare Stoker-Ring

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Photo by Matthew Morettini

0 Comment

  • dittoburg

    Yes it does appear to be the yellow building.

  • daveinbedstuy

    And it usually does reek downwind.

  • From what I can see, it’s the yellow building that’s on fire. I think this is Smith and Warren street, in Boerum Hill, but I’m not sure. I imagine that it must smell like smoke there right now.

  • the (very narrow)shoe repair and hair salon on street level.

  • That looks bad…

  • it looks like it started in the store and worked its way up one side of the building. The little house is toast.

  • I saw the very beginnings of this en route to the subway this morning. Then it was just a small amount of smoke billowing out from below the cobblers red awning … no visable flames, no involvement on the upper floors, and no firemen as yet. Thereafter, though, the Bergen F platform began to fill with smoke.

    I feel terrible for the folks whose apartments look to be ruined. This didn’t look to be that major an incident at 9:00 AM, but seems it was much worse than initial indications. Sad.

  • aren’t these the owners of the old dry cleaner’s on court who got kicked out of their corner location after so many years? Such bad luck.

  • The bad luck is mostly on the part of the poor people who lived in the upstairs part of the building. Not only are they homeless but everything they own will probably be ruined by fire, smoke, and water.

  • According to bystanders, no one was injured. People had left the apartments before the fire started. The first floor contains a shoe repair shop, which is apparently where the fire originated.

    I shot some crappy video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVgJ4rEtzbs

  • My goodness that looks serious. I hope nobody was hurt. Based on “be rude”‘s comment above, sounds like it was fairly slowly progressing, so hopefully that at least gave anyone inside a chance to get out safely…

  • I saw the smoke en-route to pick up my dry cleaning, and by the time I was on my way back (all of 5 minutes later) the entire facade of the building was engulfed in flames. There were at least three fire engines, from what I could tell. By 9:30 there were firemen on the roof using chain-saws to remove the cornice, and the Bergen platform was still very smokey. Really hope no one was inside.

  • Maly

    Oh dear! Those poor people. It’s awful to lose all your possessions.

  • What is surprising to me is that witnesses observed smoke at 9am and I didn’t hear sirens until about 9:30, which is when I ran up to my roof to take the top photo. Did no one call 911 for 30 mins?

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if it started in the cobbler shop. I have been in there many times and though he does a decent job for a resonable price, his cigarette smoking at the counter started to make it unbearable to even walk in the shop.

  • It also seems possible that the construction on that corner lot on Warren could be the culprit. I’m just glad all the doggehs in monstermutt are safe. ps that second pic is GREAT

  • Firemen were probably there within five minutes, I heard the sirens (and them breaking glass) from down on the F platform just a few minutes after entering the subway, which was right after this all started.

  • probably would have had a faster response by the FDNY if the city didnt shutter the firehouse on Degraw.

  • I wasn’t implying that the FDNY response was slow – I have no way of knowing that. I was just wondering when they were called relative to when the first witnesses saw the smoke.

  • This is the 3rd fire that I can recall on Smith St since I moved to the ‘hood four years ago. The first one was on the east side of Smith between Baltic & Butler Sts(restaurant), then last year there was one in the wooden apartment building to the right of Smith & Vine and now this one in the Cobblers. As ILIKESLICES said, the Cobbler always seemed to have a cigarette burning on his counter. I wonder if that might cause issues with insurance claims as it is an activity in contravention of NYS law -(smoking in the work place).

  • fire expands exponentially- its not surprising that within 5 minutes a small fire can engulf the entire facade. If a room catches fire it can be engulfed in 4 minutes- people are always shocked at how fast a fire moves.

    I agree, lifer. We were still fighting the day they closed that firehouse. Even with other companies in the area that part of CH/CG is open. Add to that the difficulty firetrucks and engines have negotiating traffic and narrow streets, it is a real issue.

  • The FDNY came within minutes. I saw the fire at around 9:00am, just as it was starting (i.e., when it was hard to tell if the smoke was actually smoke or was just dust/steam from the construction site next door). I called 911 about a minute or two later, and then the FDNY came about two minutes after that.

  • and would be quicker response if we had fire house on each block. But not practical or economically feasible. And city must evaluate # and types of fires, threats of fires, response times, etc periodically…and if finds that some areas are overserved should close or other underserved than open.

  • This is terrible. I suffered an apartment fire on Smith between Baltic and Butler about 7 years ago. Luckily not all our possessions were destroyed, which I attribute only to the care and thoughtfulness of the firefighters, (bookshelves were obviously moved rather than tossed to the ground, other measures you wouldn’t expect to be taken during a firefight). I was extremely grateful. The residence part of the building is currently empty. Does anyone know of a way to find out if these neighbors need anything immediately? Any way to help them? Until you have a fire you might never consider, ‘I’ve got nothing but the clothes on my back.’ It’s a horrible reality to face. I would be happy to organize whatever drive these neighbors might need for provisions if there’s someone who has contact information of the effected tenants. Also, this should be a call to all readers to check your buildings fire alarms and (if applicable) rental insurance.

  • My new year’s eve shoe is widowed! I’d taken its mate to the cobbler last week but he wasn’t sure he could fix the broken, jeweled ankle strap. He told me to check back Tuesday. Imagine my surprise when I went to retrieve the shoe just 1 hour after the shop burned down. I suppose I’ll have to make an art project out of the widowed mate. What else can you do with 1 gold platform sandal with a metal and rhinestone ankle strap?

  • I’m am a costumer of that shoe repair for about 5 years now . He is the nicest, most honest guy I have ever met in my life. If anyone knows how to find him please comment back. I would like to help him. It appears to be a bit suspicious how that was the one of a couple buildings left unrenovated on smith street, and also a bit suspicious since as it was mentioned in a comment above that no one was home at the time of the fire and owners of the building got kicked out of their old dry cleaner’s on court street corner location. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • I was heartbroken to see the damage to this building, I have been going to this cobbler for the past 10 years and am only glad that he and everyone else are alright. Does anyone know how to get in touch with the owner of the shoe repair shop? I had left 5 pairs last week, all paid for. The store phone is obviously not being answered. I’m unsure what to do in this situation. Thank you.