Two-alarm fire injures 4 in Ebbetts Field Houses
A 2-alarm fire raced through a 12th floor apartment loaded with debris in the Ebbetts Field Houses on Montgomery Street in Crown Heights Wednesday afternoon, injuring four people, fire officials said.
Brooklyn Borough Assistant Chief Wayne Cartwright referred to the fire as a “Collyer’s Mansion” — a firefighter’s term for a home so filled with trash and debris as to become a hazard to both residents and emergency responders.
Firefighters were called to 220 Montgomery St. around 1 p.m., where they immediately found flames spewing from the 12th floor balcony toward the rear of the building. Firefighters arrived at the floor to find heavy debris blocking their path to the fire.
Fire officials said other responders were trying to lead people out of the through the hallways, despite instructions from officials that they should “shelter in place.” One woman was found hiding in an 11th floor compactor closet after being overcome by smoke filling the hallways and stairwell.
One young mother, Hazel Nanton, a resident for 13 years, said she was out shopping when the fire broke out and was relieved when she found that her children were already out on the street.
“It was very scary, but I felt better when I saw the children outside,” Nanton said. “I’ve seen fires here and they can be so dangerous.”
The injuries reported were mostly due to smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire was not immediately known and was under investigation by fire marshals.