Four-alarm fire destroys supermarket and displaces 5 families in Parkchester

The FDNY attempts to extinguish a fire at Bravo Supermarket, 1869 Archer St.,  in Parkchester.
Photo courtesy FDNY

Firefighters battled a four-alarm fire that destroyed a supermarket and displaced several families Tuesday night in Parkchester.

According to the FDNY, the blaze began around 5:15 p.m. in the basement and first floor of Bravo Supermarkets, located at 1869 Archer St. One firefighter was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a serious but not life-threatening injury.

More than 200 fire personnel were met by heavy fire conditions in the basement and first floor of the mixed-use structure. Firefighting efforts were hampered by a large amount of stock throughout the basement according to FDNY officials. Firefighters were withdrawn from the building and forced to fight the fire from an exterior positioning using four towers and three hose lines. Heavy streams of water were sprayed throughout the windows of the building to darken down the fire.

Firefighters extinguish the fire in Parkchester on Tuesday. Photo Lloyd Mitchell

“The grocery store was a lifeline for us during the pandemic, everyone in the community did their shopping here,” said resident Amber Rodriquez.

FDNY battles the supermarket fire that injured two firefighters and displaced five families from the mixed-use structure. Photo courtesy FDNY

The supermarket sits within the district of City Councilwoman Amanda Farías. Farías was at the scene as firefighters attempted to douse the fire.

“The FDNY is on the scene at Archer St and Leland Ave responding to a four-alarm fire at the Bravo Supermarket at 1869 Archer Street,”  Farías said in a statement. “They are still working to extinguish the fire and have evacuated the building.”

According to Community Board 9 Assistant District Manager Shirley Alonzo, five families have been displaced. Red Cross is taking care of the families and Alonzo plans to visit with them to see what they need.

An FDNY official told the Bronx Times a second firefighter was taken to Jacobi Hospital with a minor injury. He said operations remained ongoing throughout the night.

The fire took four hours and 34 minutes to bring under control, according to fire officials. FDNY fire marshals will determine the cause of the fire.

Farías  gave a second update on Wednesday.

“The building where the fire took place is both residential and commercial. I’ve met and spoken with The office of Emergency Management, FDNY, NYPD, Small Business Services (SBS), Mayor’s Community Affairs Division and Red Cross to meet the emergency needs of those affected,” Farias said in a statement. “So far, residential units have been identified, given temporary housing, and financial assistance. I have also spoken with the supermarket owners and SBS is set to discuss build back assistance with them.”

Farías gave a third update on Thursday.

Her staff met with every family and identified specific needs, and are working on assisting the families, she said. Farías’ office is working in coordination with the Red Cross, city Development Housing Preservation and Development and additional hotel services to make sure there is quality housing available for neighbors. Right now, the families affected will not be able to access their belongings for several days and her staff is working with FDNY and emergency personnel to find ways to mitigate and collect personal belongings.

An interagency meeting was held with FDNY, NYPD, Department of Buildings, Con Edison Gas, Con Edison Electric, the building owner and city Emergency Management, according to Farías. FDNY fire marshals continue to investigate the cause of the fire. A watch line composed of one engine company and one battalion chief remain on the scene. NYPD also remains on the scene providing site security, while enforcing the following street closures: Archer Street from White Plains Road to Thieriot Avenue.

“The supermarket and the salon that were lost in the fire Tuesday night are two staples of this neighborhood,” Farías said. “Both have been in the community for 20-plus years and serve predominantly Black and Latino families, immigrants and those that are currently undocumented. Lastly, we want to say thank you to everyone helping — from every firehouse and precinct — to our local bodega on Archer that let us set up a mobile office! This Is What Community Looks Like!”

This story was updated at 6 p.m. on Thursday  

-with reporting by Lloyd Mitchell