Fire broke out at the historic Lundy’s Building (1901 Emmons Avenue) just before 9:30 a.m., drawing a heavy response from the FDNY and leaving one firefighter with a minor injury.
The fire was brought under control after more than an hour of battling the blaze, which appeared to be smoldering on the second floor and in the ventilation shafts along the roof. To accommodate the heavy response, which included FDNY units from as far away as Red Hook, Emmons Avenue was closed to traffic between East 19th Street and East 21st Street, and Ocean Avenue was closed from Emmons Avenue to Shore Parkway north of the Belt Highway.
The FDNY will investigate the cause of the fire, but the preliminary theory is that it was caused by grease in the kitchen of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, and spread into the kitchen’s air vents which carried it through the building. Flames were visible erupting from the roof of the building.
“I’m not sure when I’ll be back in my office. We don’t know anything yet,” said Dr. Preston Schaffer, a dentist whose office abuts the second-floor kitchen of Cherry Hill. “Thank god the building was built 100 years ago, with all concrete walls.”
Firefighters shattered the windows of his personal office as well as the windows of the market’s kitchen. The responders were also seen along the roof, tearing holes to look down into the building and cutting open the ventilation ducts to extinguish the fire.
One of the first firefighters on scene was left with a minor injury to his back, but is expected to recover. The building was evacuated, and there have been no other injuries.
Electricity and gas to the building were turned off.
As of 11:20 a.m., a large presence remains on the scene, although some units have departed. The public does not yet have access to the building.
Here’s some video we took, that should give you an idea of the size of the response:
Photos from our readers:
Original story with from-the-scene updates below:
Firefighter are responding to a two-alarm fire that has broken out at the Lundy’s Building, 1901 Emmons Avenue, on the second floor.
We were first tipped off by reader Nick Rosen, owner of Big Apple Plumbing, who sent us the above photo at 9:30 a.m.
According to scanner reports published by NYFD Fire Wire on Facebook, the fire broke out on the second floor and has spread to the cockloft.
UPDATE (10:04 a.m.): There is a heavy response at the scene and one firefighter is already being treated for what appears to be smoke inhalation issues. It also appears that they are raking the roof for ventilation and it appears to be along the entire length of the building.
UPDATE (10:15 a.m.): The smoke is filling Emmons Avenue fairly thickly. Even though the fire is on the upper floors, it is coming out the front doors of Cherry Hill. Firefighters are cutting into the ducts from the roof which appears to be spreading the smoke around the building. It appears that the fire might be in the ducts.
UPDATE (10:50 a.m.): Emmons Avenue and Ocean Avenue are now closed to traffic. Power has now been cut to the building and National Grid is present, presumably to turn the gas off. Smoke is still coming out of the building but it is less than before. Previously, we reported that a firefighter was possibly being treated for smoke inhalation issues. We have since learned that he suffered minor back injury.
This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.