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Electrical Fire at Union Square Closes Off 14th Street

union square 2Melvin Felix
union square 3Melvin Felix

An electrical fire at the Union Square subway station led to the temporary closing of one block of 14th Street at around 2 p.m.

EV Grieve rounded up photos of the small blaze, which is in a grate beside a subway entrance on the south side of 14th Street between Broadway and Fourth Avenue. The fire was caused by a “service box failure,” a spokesman for Con Edison told The Local. A spokesman told Gothamist, which gathered tweets about the fire, that the cause was “a failure of electrical cables.” No injuries were reported. Read more…

Small Gas-Fire On 2nd Ave. Quickly Extinguished

UntitledStephen Rex Brown The scene at 152 Second Avenue at around 1:30 p.m.

Workers building a three-floor extension to 152 Second Avenue put out a minor fire at around 1:30 p.m.

A pair of workers at the site said that the fire was little more than a spark from an open gas line.

“They had a fire extinguisher handy and it went out right away,” said Battalion Chief Jim Tracy.

News Cameras on Second Street, Coen Brothers’ Cameras a Block Over

Photos: Daniel Maurer

While news cameras focused their attention on a block on East Second Street where a three-alarm fire tore through a six-story apartment building last night, cameras were out for a different reason one block east: the Coen Brothers have parked over twenty vintage cars on Second Street between First and Second Avenues, where they’re shooting their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

“Hollywood” Nick Pagani, a car wrangler for motion pictures, told The Local that he had secured the vintage vehicles for traffic scenes set in 1961. “We’re only going to drive five of them today,” he said.  Read more…

Morning Fire on St. Marks Place

stmarksfireDaniel Maurer

A fire broke out this morning on the first floor of a building at 17 St. Marks Place, between Second and Third Avenues. A Fire Department spokesman said the blaze – which was not thought to be major – was reported at 6:45 a.m. and was under control by 7:11 a.m.; one person was taken to New York Hospital with a minor hand injury. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Two months ago, a mattress fire broke out in a building across the street, at 26 St. Marks Place.

Fire At Lil’ Frankie’s

IMG_3001Stephen Rex Brown Firefighters outside of Lil’ Frankie’s.

A fire in the walls at Lil’ Frankie’s, on First Avenue near First Street, was extinguished this afternoon before anyone was injured, firefighters said.

“It would have been a good fire in about 45 minutes if people hadn’t smelled it,” said Battalion Chief Steve Deloughry.

Twelve trucks and 60 firefighters arrived at the popular pizzeria at 21 First Avenue at around 2:10 p.m. after a resident on the third floor smelled smoke. Mr. Deloughry said that his crew “poked around for a while” trying to find the source of the smell, and at times suspected it was just coming from the wood burning oven at the restaurant. Eventually, firefighters did find the fire behind the ceiling and walls near the oven, and declared it under control at around 4 p.m.

An employee at Lil’ Frankie’s said the pizzeria will be open, but that as much as half of the dishes on the menu may not be available.

Street Scenes | Hot Bed

Burnt mattressStephen Rex Brown A burnt mattress outside of 26 St. Marks Place. A mattress fire was said to be the cause of a third-floor fire there on Friday.

Fire in Stuyvesant Town High-Rise

Daniel Maurer The burnt-out apartment on the fifth floor.

Firefighters battled an apartment fire at 14 Stuyvesant Oval, in the northeast section of Stuyvesant Town, earlier this afternoon. According to a spokesperson for the F.D.N.Y., a report of a fire on the high-rise’s fifth floor came in around 12:39 p.m.; it was extinguished by 1:14 p.m. One civilian and two firefighters were sent to Beth Israel with minor injuries. The cause of the blaze was unknown.

It wasn’t the only incident in the Stuyvesant Town area this afternoon. Around 2:30 p.m., The Local spotted firefighters, including a Haz-Mat unit, at work securing what the fire department said was fuel leaking from a pickup truck parked on 14th Street near First Avenue.

Oven Briefly Aflame On St. Marks

IMG_3696Lauren Carol Smith

A fire broke out in a stove at 107 St. Marks Place at around 6:25 p.m. today, and was under control within 20 minutes. According to a fire department spokesman, 60 firefighters responded to the fire in an apartment on the first floor of the six-story building between First Avenue and Avenue A. Only one fire hose was needed to extinguish the blaze and there were no injuries.

Ten Years After Surviving 9/11, Free Willie Nelson is Felled by Fire

Mr. Britt talks to insurersStephen Rex Brown Ron Britt, the owner of the Free Willie Nelson, in front of his damaged RV

The East Village’s most recognizable recreational vehicle caught on fire this morning, destroying the engine and leaving its mellow owner bummed but not brokenhearted.

The Free Willie Nelson, a 1973 Dodge Mahal Travco known for its whale-themed paint job and cowboy-style interior, was set ablaze by an electrical fire at around 8:55 a.m. on Sixth Street near Avenue A.

“A neighborhood icon comes to rest,” said Darryl Thompson, a musician. “Man, this sucks. I slept many nights in this thing — it’s like my old buddy.” Read more…

Manhole Fire on Second Avenue

Stephen Rex Brown Firefighters blasting a manhole with a fire hose.

Firefighters were dousing a manhole with water at Second Avenue and Seventh Street this morning after it caught fire. A spokesman for the fire department said the first report of the blaze came in at 9:17 a.m., and that there were roughly 30 firefighters on the scene. Read more…

FDNY: Explosion at Con Edison Plant ‘Doesn’t Appear to Be Serious’

A FDNY spokesman told The Local that at 8:02 p.m., a call came in regarding a transformer fire at the Con Edison plant at 14th Street and FDR Drive. According to the spokesman, a standard response team of 12 units comprising 65 firefighters was dispatched to the scene. “It doesn’t appear to be serious,” he said. (The cause of these types of fires is typically determined after an investigation by fire marshals.) EV Grieve has some shots from the scene as well as an eyewitness account: “big explosion, giant black plume of smoke, no flames.” A tipster tells Grieve that “most of the emergency crews” had packed up as of 9 p.m.

Check back here for any updates.

Flea Market Café to Reopen Today

A Clean Flea Market CafeStephen Rex Brown The Flea Market Café, hours before it will reopen.

Workers at the Flea Market Café have swept up the ashes and are preparing to reopen at 5 p.m. — less than 24 hours after an alleged arson left the eatery a messy crime scene.

While cleaning counter tops earlier today, the manager of the restaurant, Haveen Bonnet, bemoaned the blaze that has been the talk of the neighborhood.

“Two napkins catch on fire and the fire department comes in and smashes everything,” Mr. Bonnet said as deliverymen hauled in fresh loads of food. Read more…

Police: Fire at Flea Market Café Possibly Arson

IMG_2673Stephen Rex Brown The scene in the aftermath of the blaze at the Flea Market Café yesterday.

Monday’s blaze that left the Flea Market Café a charred mess is being investigated as an arson, a police spokesman confirmed today.

“The fire was deemed incendiary by the FDNY fire marshals,” the police spokesman said.

Moments after the lunchtime fire was under control, onlookers were gossiping that something shady had occurred. The blog Neither More Nor Less noted that an NYPD crime scene unit was at the site until around midnight. Read more…

Fire Breaks Out at Flea Market Café

A fire scorched the interior of Flea Market Café today at around lunch time. A spokesman for the Fire Department said the blaze broke out at around 1:23 p.m. and that 60 firefighters arrived at the scene on Avenue A between St. Marks Place and Ninth Street. Within 20 minutes the fire was under control, and one firefighter was treated for minor injuries, according to the spokesman. Shortly thereafter, the dining room was a singed mess, and burnt tables and chairs were strewn about the sidewalk. An acrid odor still hung in the air.

An employee at Nino’s next door reported seeing a napkin holder on fire before the flames spread. The cause of the blaze is still being investigated, according to the spokesman.

The Day | A Blaze on Avenue D

Fire EngineSusan Keyloun

Good morning, East Village.

Have you seen the bus stop sign on St. Marks Place that seems to have been hacked down like an old oak tree? If not, Neighborhoodr has some fun photos. “No Standing” indeed.

In other news, the fire department had an early wake up call this morning. DNAinfo reports that a minor fire broke out at 5:43 a.m. at 40 Avenue D. It took firefighters 30 minutes to control the blaze on the eighth floor. No one was hurt and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Finally, after the closing of Banjo Jim’s was delayed, the staff of the bluegrass, jazz, and Americana bar has now announced (per EV Grieve) that Monday is the final day of business. As you know, new owner Rob Ceraso is converting the space into an artisanal cocktail bar.

A View of the Fire

Fire 03/02Crystal Bell

Scenes from the fire at the East 14th Street Con Edison plant this afternoon were captured on video by local resident Chris Meckley, 30, who was in his apartment on East 10th Street between Avenues C and D.

Mr. Meckley told the Local, “I saw a bunch of smoke, so I looked outside and heard a loud explosion, like a big boom. It was really loud. I wasn’t really scared, and thought it might be cool to record it. Why not?”

The Con Edison fire from Chris Meckley on Vimeo.

No Injuries at Con Edison Fire

ConEd plant fireIan Duncan

A fire at the Con Edison plant on East 14th Street, which started at approximately 2:19 this afternoon when a tranformer caught fire outside the building, resulted in an “all hands” FDNY call. Heavy smoke conditions were reported to be affecting the FDR Drive. The fire was declared under control at 3:52.

According to Chief John Sarrocco, “There was an explosion in a transformer outside of the Con Ed building. The transformer has been de-energized and we put some foam on the transformer. No one was hurt.”

There were a total of 27 units, approximately 125 firefighters on scene, the authorities said.

Fire at Con Ed Plant

Update | 3:54 p.m. Firefighters are working to put out a blaze at the Con Ed plant at 14th Street near Avenue D. Fire officials said that the blaze began at 2:19 and that it has gone to two alarms with an “all hands” call for more firefighters. Reporters from The Local are on the scene and we will bring you a fuller post when more information becomes available.—Crystal Bell

Fire at St. Mark’s Comics

St Mark's Comics FireIan Duncan Owner Mitch Cutler, right, surveyed the damage caused by a fire at St. Mark’s Comics.
Fire ext 1

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze on St. Marks Place Thursday afternoon. The fire, at St. Mark’s Comics at 11 St. Marks Place, began shortly after 1:30 and it was declared under control about a half hour later. Officials said that one person sustained minor injuries in the fire but refused medical treatment.

Witnesses at the scene said the fire started in the building’s basement. After the blaze, the basement was dark, damp and smelled strongly of smoke but the only visible damage was a few wooden beams that had been knocked down. Most of the damage was caused to St. Mark’s Comics, a store on the building’s first floor.

James Kwiecinski, the building manager, said a man he described as a “caretaker” uses part of the basement as an art studio. Numerous landscape paintings hung on the basement’s wall.

Partially damaged comics and a wrapped Superman t-shirt littered the entrance to St. Mark’s Comics. Mitch Cutler, the owner, said he stocks potentially valuable vintage comics but he added it was “too soon to tell” the extent of the damage.

Yoshi Onoyuri, a chef and manager at Udon West, also on the building’s first floor, said fire fighters had knocked through the wall between his restaurant and the comic store.

Mr. Cutler, who has owned St. Mark’s Comics for 27 years, said water, smoke and sawdust could all damage comics. “Firemen were here with lots of water,” he said, adding that he planned to reopen the store later today.

Mr. Onoyuri said his electricity and gas were still working. “We’re waiting for the insurance company so we can reopen,” he said.

Mr. Kwiecincski said he was fully insured but could not estimate the cost of the damage.

Fire on St. Marks Place

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze on St. Marks Place this afternoon. The fire, at St. Mark’s Comics at 11 St. Marks Place, began shortly after 1:30 and was declared under control about a half hour later. Officials said that one person sustained minor injuries in the fire but refused medical treatment. —Ian Duncan