Row house fire displaces 26 residents

Residents watched as firefighters surveyed the damage caused by the multi-dwelling fire.
Photo by Aracelis Batista

A fast-moving fire ripped through a block of row houses in the south Bronx on Wednesday, March 1, forcing 26 people to seek temporary shelter.

The fire, which began in the top floor of a two-story frame home at 1342 College Avenue, was called in to 911 at around 1:29 p.m.

The fire quickly raced down the block via the common roofs of five adjacent homes: 1338, 1348, 1344, 1346 and 1340 College Avenue.

All but 1338 were ordered to be vacated by the NYC Department of Buildings as their investigation continues.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined, according to an FDNY spokesman.

The four-alarm fire drew approximately 160 firefighters to battle the blaze, five of whom were injured at the scene.

The fire was under control by 3:31 p.m.

One resident sustained minor injuries and was treated at Bronx Lebanon Hospital and released.

The American Red Cross of Greater New York met with the ten displaced families at the scene, according to spokesman Michael de Vulpillieres.

“Last night two families took us up on our offer to provide emergency housing, but we are expecting that number to go up,” de Vulpillieres said. “We were back at the scene today meeting with our partners at NYC Emergency Management and other residents who may not have contacted us.”

Since 2011, 1342 College Avenue had racked up 13 violations, according to the DOB.

Many of those violations were for work done without a permit.

Another complaint from 2012 was from a tenant who said the landlord had turned off electricity, while a violation issued in 2013 was for the illegal subdivision of a two-bedroom apartment.

Ownership of the building has changed hands several times since 1999.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.
Nearly 160 firefighters responded to the four-alarm blaze at 1342 College Avenue which affected five adjacent homes.
Photo by Edwin Soto

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