2008-05-09 / Top Stories

Morning Fire Sweeps Through Abandoned Homes

By Nicholas Briano

Neighboring residents, many of whom awakened just minutes before the 8 a.m. fire, were forced to grab whatever they could and evacuate the premises in fear the fire would spread to adjacent apartments. Neighboring residents, many of whom awakened just minutes before the 8 a.m. fire, were forced to grab whatever they could and evacuate the premises in fear the fire would spread to adjacent apartments. The fire department responded on Tuesday morning to a fire at 145 Beach 26 Street and found the private, multi-family, long-abandoned home engulfed in flames.

Christopher Williams, who was working at a nearby construction site, said that he noticed the blaze and immediately rushed to the scene, fearing that people were trapped inside.

"I was like Spiderman. I climbed up to the window, and broke it and covered my face and went inside the smoke, but no one was inside," he described.

There was nobody home, neighbors say, because the apartment has been abandoned for several months and they have been desperately trying to inform someone of the dangerous conditions in the abandoned building.

"I called the city in April to have it boarded down," an angry neighbor said to The Wave. "Had they come maybe this wouldn't have happened."

FDNY Ladder 134 battles the fire on Tuesday morning at 145 Beach 29 Street. No major injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  FDNY Ladder 134 battles the fire on Tuesday morning at 145 Beach 29 Street. No major injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The neighboring residents are furious because they claim the apartment has been broken into on a consistent basis, with kids drinking, smoking, and causing general havoc in the neighborhood. One resident said that he has been calling 311 since November, filing numerous complaints.

Another eyewitness, who refused to be identified publicly, says there were five men inside the building prior to the fire, two of whom were spotted running from the scene moments before smoke appeared.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. According to FDNY sources one civilian was sent to St. John's hospital with minor injuries.

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