03/19/14 10:45am

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We were dismayed to see that a fire appears to have gutted the twin Parfitt Brothers-designed tenement buildings at 472-474 Lafayette Avenue near Dough in Bed Stuy. We’re not sure when the fire occurred — it could have been months ago, since we hadn’t passed by here in a while.

Windows are boarded up in the front and along the opposite side, so it’s possible both buildings have been emptied out. The buildings are visually prominent on the street because of their architecture and colorfully painted terra cotta ornamentation. (The paint is a relatively recent embellishment.) They were a Building of the Day in 2011. In 2013, the one on the right, No. 474, changed hands for $1,400,000.

Does anyone have any details of what happened? Click through to the jump to see the side of No. 474 and a closeup of the painted terra cotta details from November. GMAP (more…)

03/19/14 9:00am

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Last night, a fire broke out at about 7 pm at the Rapid Processing Center, a paper recycling facility at 860 Humboldt Street. The smoke could be seen for miles around.

Nearly 200 firefighters responded. One had a minor injury, according to The New York Daily News. Parts of the building have crumbled. The Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire.

In January, there was another big industrial fire at a lumberyard in Greenpoint.

Fire Tears Through Brooklyn Recycling Plant [NY Times]
Recycling Center in Brooklyn Suffers Collapse in Massive Inferno [NY Daily News]
Photos: 4-Alarm Fire Rages At Greenpoint Recycling Plant [Gothamist]
Photo by Joe Perron-Kozar via Gothamist

02/28/14 9:30am

A fire in an apartment in Turner Towers at 135 Eastern Parkway last night sent two residents and four firefighters to the hospital with minor injuries, DNAinfo reported. We heard from a reader last night, who said:

There is a major fire in Turner Towers right now. This is the big co-op on Eastern Pkwy facing the Brooklyn Museum. Tons of black smoke pouring out of an apartment on the north side about 2/3 up the building. Many fire trucks on EP battling the fire.

The fire started around 11:30 pm. Nearly 140 firefighters responded. The fire was under control by 1:50 am, said DNAinfo. The cause is under investigation. More photos after the jump.

Six Injured in Eastern Parkway Apartment Fire, FDNY Says [DNAinfo]
Photo via Twitter @flogginkatie

(more…)

01/24/14 10:00am

The Daily News has more details on the manhole explosion at Court and Union streets in Carroll Gardens we told you about yesterday. The manhole exploded around 1:40 pm Wednesday afternoon with a lick of flame and copious smoke, shocking residents and businesses, and leaving the block without power until Thursday afternoon. A reader sent in this photo showing the fire.

The marketing manager at Body Elite Gym, which sits right on the corner at 348 Court Street, told the Daily News he heard the big explosion and then two smaller ones. Fire officials evacuated nearby buildings so they could investigate the source of the blast, which was apparently caused by a defective cable. Con Ed shut down Court Street between Union and President streets for several hours afterward while they repaired the faulty line.

Power Restored to Carroll Gardens Block After Manhole Explodes [NY Daily News]

10/04/13 3:18pm

A building is on fire on Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Clinton Streets, according to a tipster who sent in these photos. It looks like the blaze is coming from 172 or 174 Atlantic, a few doors down from the old sail makers’ building that houses an Urban Outfitters on the ground floor. The fire department is at the scene and battling the flames right now. Please let us know in the comments if you know more. Click through to the jump for another photo. (more…)

08/30/13 9:00am

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Police have arrested 43-year-old corrections officer Evette Rudolph on suspicion of setting a fire that injured 11 people at 375 Chauncey Street yesterday morning, The New York Post reported. Four victims are in critical condition. After smoke started pouring out of the building, Rudolph walked out calmly without notifying anyone the building was on fire, according to a witness. “That really caught my eye,” he said. The fire was set with gasoline in the hallway, which made escape difficult. Firefighters sawed bars off windows to get people out. The building houses six apartment and 22 residents, according to The New York Times. Rudolph’s boyfriend lived in the building but moved in December, said witnesses. Neighbors said two days earlier someone had tried into break into an apartment in the building where a pastor and his wife live, said the Post.

Jail-Guard Gal Busted in Fire That Injures 11 After “Dumping Gas Before Torching Building” [NY Post]
Brooklyn Fire Injures 11 [NY Times] GMAP (more…)

07/24/13 9:00am

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Some manholes at Washington and Myrtle exploded Tuesday morning, and then a fire spread to the nearby restaurant Five Spot, according to a tipster who sent in these photos. No one was hurt. Streets were closed to traffic. The back room at Five Spot got a “little charred,” he said. DNAinfo also covered the story, and said firefighters evacuated six buildings on Myrtle, including an animal clinic, because of the possibility of carbon monoxide. Marshals are looking into what caused the explosion and the fire, said the paper. (more…)

05/15/13 4:00pm


Ditmas Park Corner visited Engine 281 and Ladder 147 in honor of their 100th Anniversary, which they will celebrate tomorrow. The company, which was formed in 1914 to extinguish difficult fires at the large Victorian houses being built around Cortelyou Road, now serves Ditmas, Borough Park, Midwood, East Flatbush, Lefferts, Park Slope and Windsor Terrace. It received the moniker “Da Pride ‘A’ Flatbush” in the late ’70s, with the rise of abandoned buildings and crime in the area. DPC talks to the station members about driving the truck down narrow, congested Cortelyou Road, cooking and cleaning in the station, Liam Neeson, and what it’s like to work in the neighborhood… it’s a fun read! The Engine 281 and Ladder 147 Centennial Celebration will be held tomorrow, May 16, at 11 am outside the firehouse. The event is open to the public.
FDNY Engine 281 & Ladder 147 Celebrate 100 Years Of Service in Flatbush [DPC]
Photo via DPC

02/19/13 10:15am

The fire that broke out at Pratt Institute early Friday morning badly damaged the 1887 landmarked building at 200 Willoughby Avenue and destroyed student artwork housed in the 42 upper floor studios used by seniors. According to a statement from the school, “the six-story building’s roof and its sixth floor were gutted. The fifth floor was badly damaged by the fire and there is water damage throughout the building.” One student who lost all of her work just before her interview at Yale University’s graduate school of art told the Times, “‘My studio’s gone, everything I’ve made at Pratt is gone,’ Ms. De Los Angeles said, sobbing as she stood outside the student union near the site of the fire. ‘I don’t even think I have a pencil.’” The chief of fire operations told the paper, “‘inside there’s quite a bit of destruction. It’s all wood inside and the roof did collapse on the left side of the building on the top floor. There’s a lot of damage up there, and we have a lot of water damage.’” The fire caused minor injuries to three firefighters and one unidentified person and the blaze is under investigation. Classes that would normally take place in the building are being scheduled elsewhere.

Fire at Pratt Institute Destroys Studios and Artwork of Students [NY Times]
Fire Claims Student Artwork [NY Post]
Massive Fire at Pratt Damages Building [Brownstoner]

Photo via Fire Fighting News

02/15/13 9:00am

Just before 2:15 am last night a fire erupted on the top floor of 200 Willoughby Avenue on the Pratt Institute campus. The fire soon engulfed the building and raged for two hours before it was brought under control, a fire department spokesman told DNAinfo. A source told the New York Post that flammable materials in an art classroom increased the intensity of the blaze. Two fire fighters suffered minor injuries. According to the ABC News website, the fire damaged the building’s sixth floor and roof and smoke and water likely damaged the floors below. The building houses administrative offices on the lower floors and classrooms above and it was supposedly locked and empty when the fire broke out. The blaze has been deemed suspicious and is under investigation. You can view the ABC video of the fire here.

UPDATE: We received the following update from a Pratt spokesperson: The six-story building’s roof and its sixth floor were gutted. The fifth floor was badly damaged by the fire and there is water damage throughout the building. The historic Main Building, which was built in 1887, houses fine art classes and studios in addition to administrative offices. Classes have been cancelled in Main Building and the adjoining South Hall for today, Friday, February 15 and tomorrow, Saturday, February 16.

Fire Damages Building on Pratt Campus [NY Post]
Two Firefighters Injured in Massive Blaze at Pratt [DNAinfo]
Huge Fire Tears Through Pratt Institute Building [WABC]

Photo via NYCity Alerts