Fire rips thru Hammond Creek homes

Fire rips thru Hammond Creek homes
The Mianos: (left-right) Christopher, Jessica and Robert were still cobbling together the remains the morning after a blaze tore through their two-story Throggs Neck home and the adjacent residences.
Photo by Ben Kochman

UPDATE – Fire again wreaked havoc on Throggs Neck homeowners in yet another blaze in recent weeks that destroyed or damaged several homes.

The latest fire destroyed four homes after ripping through a Throggs Neck enclave early Sunday evening Mar. 9, city officials said.

Flames also damaged three more houses on Schuyler Terrace, a quiet cluster of homes off Pennyfield Avenue, overlooking Hammond Creek near the Throggs Neck bridge, said FDNY authorities.

The blaze broke out just after 5:30 p.m and raged for nearly 90 minutes until more than 100 firefighters got the flames under control, officials said. No one was hurt during the inferno.

A ‘hail’ of flames

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but witnesses say they heard a series of loud cracking noises before the flames broke out.

“My wife was with a few of her friends downstairs, and all of a sudden they heard popping noises, and thought it was hail,” said Robert Miano, whose two-story home was among those destroyed by the fire. “By the time they got outside, the whole house was lit up.”

Embers spread quickly from home to the next on the cozy side street, picking up speed with the wind, witnesses said.

The neighborhood is known for being a tight-knit community popular in the summertime for its proximity to Hammond Creek.

The Monday morning after the fire, locals were still picking through the remains as inspectors from Con Edison surveyed the damage to power lines.

“I can’t even begin to describe it,” said Miano. “The attic, living room, bedroom, all gone. It’s a mess.”

Rally for vics

In the days following the blaze, Red Cross was helping set the victims up with shelter, while Sen. Jeff Klein’s office held a meeting Thursday evening at nearby Paddy’s on The Bay restaurant.

Red Cross personnel and representatives from the New York State Adjusters Association were present to help the displaced residents brainstorm ways to start the rebuilding process.

Klein’s office also helped work with ConEd to restore power to adjacent homes where the electricity was cut off.

More fire mayhem

The Schuyler Terrace blaze is not the only fire to rock Throggs Neck in recent weeks.

On Thursday, Feb. 13, an electrical fire destroyed one home and severely damaged an adjacent residence on Dean Avenue near Barkley Avenue.

Community members rallied to raise funds to go toward the three families displaced in that inferno, donating cash and gift cards at nearby St. Benedict’s Church. At press time, there were plans in place for a fundraiser Friday night Mar. 14 at the American Turner Club on Clarence Avenue.

There was no word yet at press time of a similar fundraising drive for the victims of the Mar. 9 wreckage on Schluyer Terrace.

But residential fires are becoming an alarming trend. Just a few hours after the Mar. 9 fire, another blaze broke out in the rear of a home on nearby East Tremont Avenue between Lawton and Harding avenues, FDNY officials said.

Flames erupted at 7:49 a.m on Mar. 10 and were extinguished 15 minutes later.

Authorities said that one resident, not immediately identified, was transported to a local hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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