BROOKLYN EAGLE VIDEO: Nine injured in Crown Heights blaze
A fire broke out Wednesday morning in Crown Heights, engulfing three houses on St. Marks Avenue in thick plumes of smoke. Residents living in three houses numbered 1228, 1230 and 1232 had to escape the dangerous flames. Five firefighters and four civilians were being treated at Kings County Hospital, the FDNY told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“The families had visitors,” said Tania Salters, community affairs officer at the 77th Precinct.
After the fire, most of the affected residents went to neighbors’ and relatives’ houses just a few doors down. A neighbor who did not want to be identified said this was a “family street.”
Late Wednesday morning, more than half a dozen fire trucks were parked on the street and down the block toward Utica Avenue. Police officers were also present, asking residents to move to a safe distance. Firefighters were inside the house carefully maneuvering through charred wood and knocking down pieces that had burned up.
The blaze, which began shortly after 10 a.m., was strong enough that people a few blocks down could smell the smoke. An apartment superintendent who worked down the street said he could smell smoke and hurried over to see what had happened. Images posted by residents showed thick black clouds of smoke emerging from the houses.
A few of the residents who stood around the park opposite the burning house declined to comment but appeared visibly upset. One of the residents wanted to enter his home but was held back by neighbors, who advised him to be patient, as firefighters were still putting out stray flames.
Neighbors and passersby who had walked up to see the commotion were heard saying the fire started from an alleged gas leak. However, Officer Salters ruled out any foul play and said an investigation into what caused the fire is pending.
Most of the residents of the buildings were not outside, but the few who could be spotted declined to comment.
UPDATE: The Red Cross of Greater New York said late Wednesday that teams are assisting affected residents.
“Our disaster responders are providing temporary housing to nine households (20 adults, 9 children). Red Cross will also provide displaced residents with emergency funds for basic necessities like food and clothing,” a spokesperson said in an email.
Other recent fires in New York have made headlines. In late March, a fire in Midwood, Brooklyn, took the lives of seven children. Three weeks ago, an East Village fire in Manhattan caused by a gas explosion killed two.
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