Soundview blaze displaces 45 families, injures 9

Soundview blaze displaces 45 families, injures 9|Soundview blaze displaces 45 families, injures 9
FDNY members were stationed outside of 1466 Watson Avenue after extinguishing the blaze.
Photo by Edwin Soto

Over 100 Soundview residents were displaced by a recent fire.

According to the FDNY, approximately 200 firefighters and 50 FDNY units responded to a 4-alarm fire on Friday, July 12 at 6 a.m. inside an apartment building at 1466 Watson Avenue between Evergreen and Colgate avenues.

A FDNY spokesman confirmed that the fire began inside the 3-story building’s cockloft, the space between the ceiling on the top floor and the roof, before spreading to several other apartments on the top floor.

Nine people, consisting of six firefighters and three civilians, were injured in the blaze.

One civilian and one firefighter sustained serious injuries while the other seven victims received minor injuries. There were no fatalities.

Firefighters successfully gained control over the fire at 8:08 a.m.

The top floor apartments sustained fire and water damage while the apartments below may have some residual water damage.

Most of the building’s windows were shattered and its ceilings were caved in due to the fire.

The extent of the damage is still being determined.

While combating the blaze, the FDNY used its state-of-the-art tethered drone equipped with high definition and infrared cameras to view all sides of the building, alleyways and shafts simultaneously.

The drone allowed the chiefs at the command center outside of the building to observe the aforementioned areas from a safe distance.

This watchful high-tech eye in the sky allowed the incident commander to receive reports of the affected areas without having to contribute to radio traffic by asking for and then listening to reports about them.

Fire marshals have yet to determine the fire’s cause and are investigating if the building’s smoke detectors were operational.

Michael de Vupillieres, American Red Cross New York Greater Region communication officer, said American Red Cross teams were on the scene providing food, water, emotional support and other relief items to 45 families consisting of 149 people.

He added that the Red Cross worked with the MTA to have an air conditioned bus at the scene to provide relief to the displaced families.

Emergency housing at local hotels was provided to 29 families consisting of 105 people.

The Red Cross also provided the displaced families with emergency funds for basic necessities.

Approximately 43 families affected by the blaze have met with Red Cross case workers for additional assistance.

On the morning of Friday, July 12, Senator Luis Sepulveda visited 1466 Watson Avenue as representatives from the Red Cross and NYC Emergency Management were providing assistance to the displaced families.

The senator said that first responders’ response to the incident was encouraging.

Sepulveda has offered his district office at 900 Roger Place as a central point for everyone to donate food for families displaced by the blaze.

He thanked the FDNY, Police Service Area 8, the Red Cross and NYCEM for their rapid response to the incident.

Anyone in need of American Red Cross assistance can contact (877) RED-CROSS.

Red Cross case workers met with and assisted families displaced by the fire at 1466 Watson Avenue.
Photo courtesy of American Red Cross

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