Warehouse fire in trendy NYC neighborhood could smolder for weeks

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 01, 2015 1:00 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A seven-alarm fire that destroyed a warehouse and forced an evacuation in one of New York City's trendiest neighborhoods could take weeks to extinguish completely, fire officials said on Sunday.

Some 270 firefighters have been sent to battle the blaze, which broke out early on Saturday, charring a four-story storage facility in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said firefighter Daniel Glover. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The city's health department issued a warning late on Saturday, asking residents of the neighborhood, which is lined with bars and restaurants, to stay indoors with their windows closed to avoid smoke-related injuries. One person reported minor smoke inhalation injury.

"As with most fires of this magnitude, it is important that everyone limit their exposure to smoke," the health department said in a statement.

Images posted to social media show billowing smoke forming a gray cloud above Brooklyn and a blackened carcass of the warehouse, which specializes in storing paper office records, taking up the length of an entire block.

Images showed firefighters, who fought the flames in frigid temperatures overnight, with icicles hanging down from their helmets.

The fire, which forced the evacuation of a nearby commercial area, was largely smoldering by Sunday morning and was not considered a threat to nearby buildings, Glover said.

Fire crews will likely remain at the site of the fire for the coming weeks to control smoldering, debris and small pockets of fire that may erupt, Glover said.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Dominic Evans)