Fire at hobby shop in Throggs Neck

A view of the damage inside Bruckner Hobbies.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

A fire tore through the storeroom of a local Throggs Neck hobby shop Tuesday night, but luckily, the fire was contained quickly.

Based on a video shared with the Bronx Times, a lithium polymer battery – a small, high power battery used for model airplanes and cars – exploded into three pieces at Bruckner Hobbies in Throggs Neck.

The fire apparently started in a storeroom at at 3587 E. Tremont Avenue around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18.

The battery had been charging when it exploded, said Bruckner Hobbies owner Tom Baffer.

“It was a freeky thing that happened,” he said of the combustion, adding “what (the fire) did was trigger the sprinklers, and everything in the back of the store was destroyed.”

When the battery exploded one of the pieces landed on a chair, which ignited.

According to a fire department spokesman, the fire was first called in to the FDNY at 8:06 p.m., with 12 units and 60 firefighters responding.

The FDNY spokesman said that two people were removed to Jacobi Medical Center with minor injuries.

As of press time, the official cause of the fire was not determined, the spokesman said.

Bruckner Hobbies shares the building with two second floor apartments and a Radio Shack.

The manager of the Radio Shack, Alan Leon, said that the damage there was from smoke that came in through a shared ventilation system and some wet carpeting.

Leon said that employees called him and said the fire department told them leave the store until it was clear for everyone to go back in.

Leon said that business was not greatly affected by the fire.

“We are opened until 9:30 p.m.” he said the next day. “This happened last night towards the end of closing time anyway, so this has not really affected our business. But it is not something you want to hear – that there was a fire next door.”

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procc‌hio@c‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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