2009-02-27 / Top Stories

Call-A-Head Truck Scorched In Early Morning Fire

By Howard Schwach

A truck at Call-A-Head in Broad Channel was destroyed by a suspicious fire on Wednesday morning, burning several portable toilets as well. A truck at Call-A-Head in Broad Channel was destroyed by a suspicious fire on Wednesday morning, burning several portable toilets as well. A fire in a truck parked at the headquarters of Call-AHead in Broad Channel destroyed a truck and a number of porta-potties early on Wednesday morning, fire department sources say.

One eyewitness told The Wave that he was awakened at about 3:30 a.m. by the smell of smoke and when he looked out of his window facing Cross Bay Boulevard, he saw billowing smoke and flames roaring high into the sky.

He said that he got dressed and went to the scene of the fire, Call-A-Head, located at 304 Cross Bay Boulevard, and saw lots of workers milling around.

A New York City Fire Department spokesperson said that the first call came in to the 911 emergency system at 3:39 a.m. By the time that the first due units, Ladder 173 and Engine 266, arrived, the fire was roaring and it was declared an "allhands fire" by the on-scene chief.

All told, 12 fire apparatus and 60 firefighters responded to the fire, which was declared under control at 4:21 a.m.

Fire officials said that a truck used to transport the porta-potties caught on fire and that several of the fiberglass portable toilets were destroyed in the fire.

A woman who answered the phone at Call-A-Head, which bills itself as "Number one at picking up number two," declined to comment on the damage done by the fire.

Captain Thomas Barrett, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct, told a meeting on Wednesday night that the police have a surveillance videotape that shows a man in a Call-A-Head uniform wearing a ski mask set the fire.

Fire officials would not speculate on whether the fire was set by an employee, but said that the fire was "suspicious" and that fire marshals were investigating.

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