A massive fire broke out at an NYPD impound lot and an evidence storage warehouse, off the Brooklyn waterfront. It was seen engulfing multiple vehicles on Tuesday. The black smoke bellowing out into the sky was so thick that some were under the impression that the blaze started in Manhattan.
According to local reports, the fire appeared to have been started at a warehouse on Columbia Street in Red Hook which was part of the Erie Basin Auto Pound. Within a period of 30 minutes, the blaze had escalated to a third-alarm blaze. The warehouse in question is used to store evidence that is too large to fit in normal storage areas.
It is also one of the five warehouses where the NYPD stored vehicles after they are confiscated. Videos of the fire went viral on social media. Here are some of them:
Among the type of vehicles being stored in the warehouse were ATVs and electric bikes. Thirty-three fire units rushed to the scene with 140 firefighters and were seen trying to put out the blaze.
There were reports of two firefighters being taken to the hospital. Although their condition was serious, they are now reportedly in stable condition.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known. The FDNY was seen using boats as part of its effort to put out the fire. The city’s Office of Emergency Management advised the residents to close their windows to limit smoke exposure.
The impound lot was reportedly the same one where NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams crushed illegal dirt bikes. This was part of their mission to crack down on such vehicles. The NYPD reportedly takes special precautions to detach batteries made of ion-lithium so they don’t catch fire.