By GABRIEL SALAS
In just over the span of one week, residents of Borough Park, Brooklyn are left with many questions after two fires have broken out at a gas station on April 14th and at a residential building on April 22nd.
Both fires occurred less than a week from each other in walking distance from one another. The gas station is located on the corner of 44th Street on 4302 Fort Hamilton Parkway and the residential building on 4303 10th Avenue and 43rd street.
“These fires are currently under investigation and no cause or any criminality has been determined,” a spokesperson for the FDNY said.
The only major update, the FDNY was able to provide was the current status of the two firefighters who were injured as a result of the fire that broke out on the 22nd. Both have been treated and released from the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
In the aftermath, the gas station is back to pumping gas but there still is yellow tape around each gas pump. Windows at the co-located convenience story are boarded up with signs by the NYC Buildings Department warning people that “the area is imminently perilous to life.”
“At the scene, inspectors observed severe fire damage, including a partially collapsed metal roof and broken windows,” Deputy Press Secretary Ryan J. Degan, at the NYC Department of Building said. “Due to the extent of the damage, a partial vacate order was issued for the store.”
Attempts to reach the owner of the gas station were unsuccessful.
Residents in the area at the time of the fire were left worried about the fire at the gas station as the station, which is located between PS 131 elementary school and right under the Fort Hamilton Parkway train station on the D-line.
Though there is an investigation on the extent of damages at the gas station, the residential home has seemingly been left empty. The smell of smoke still lingers in the air. Heavily damaged furniture was tossed to the corner of the street and the windows for the apartment on the second floor smashed and covered up with wooden boards.
“Due to the severe extent of the fire damage, full vacate orders were issued,” Degan said, “Any displaced residents were offered emergency relocation assistance from the American Red Cross.” Attempts to contact the owner of the building were unsuccessful.
In just the first four months of 2022 alone there have been over 7100 structural fires in New York City, a decrease from the first third of 2021 when over 7500 structural fires were reported according to the New York City Fire Department.
Even though the number of NYC fires declined from last year, the number of people who died in fires in New York City rose 16 percent in 2021 leading to 73 fatalities an increase from 2020 where 63 fatalities were reported by the FDNY, as reported in the New York Post.
Over a month after both incidents have occurred, still many questions remain.