Smoky Fire Threatens Bridge,Closes Cross Bay Boulevard
A massive marsh fire that threatened the Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge and closed Cross Bay Boulevard for more than two hours brought a three-alarm response from the New York City Fire Department on Friday, May 4. Fire department sources say the fire was called in at 2:53 p.m. and declared under control at 4:20 p.m. Many Rockaway residents were trapped in Howard Beach and had to use the Belt Parkway to get back to Rockaway through the Marine Parkway Bridge instead. Pictured, the scene from the park at the southern end of the bridge. Photos by Howard Schwach and Pete Boriello. While no civilians were injured in the fire, six firefighters suffered minor injuries and smoke inhalation. The fast-moving grass fire moved closer to the Addabbo Bridge as firefighters tried to fight it from nearby streets. The fire department finally brought in all-terrain vehicles capable of getting to the fire site and began to knock the fire down. The fire site was isolated and the fire was so hot and smoky that firefighters had a hard time putting it out.