Red Hook Fire Leaves Man Who Tried to Escape Seriously Injured

By Jess Wisloski on March 30, 2014 10:17am 

 A fire truck. Stock image.
A fire truck. Stock image.
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Flickr/Ace Starry

NEW YORK CITY — An early morning blaze hurt 13 people on Sunday at one of the public housing complexes worst impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the FDNY said.

The flames broke out at 6:37 a.m. on the fourth floor of 75 Bush St., and moved quickly through a six-story building of the Red Hook Houses. Eleven residents and two firefighters were hurt, officials said.

Most of the injuries were minor, with three civilians going to Long Island College Hospital for treatment. Another man, 50, was in serious condition after he plunged from the building's fourth floor, an FDNY spokesman said. The man was being treated at Lutheran Medical Center.

The fire was put under control at 7:07 a.m., but a water supply issue caused a delay. According to the FDNY spokesman, the hydrant closest to the blaze was non-functional, and water needed to be relayed from another hydrant.

The Red Hook Houses West is one of the New York City Housing Authority complexes worst affected by natural disasters like storms and flooding, and was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Recovery is still ongoing, with new temporary boilers in the process of being installed to replace the old, flood-damaged boilers that reportedly break down frequently. Flooding mitigation efforts are also in the works for the whole complex, which includes Red Hook Houses East, and comprises 6,400 residents combined, and 30 buildings.

"The safety and security of our residents is a primary concern of the New York City Housing Authority," Millie Molina, a NYCHA spokeswoman, said in an email. "There are no fire escapes at Red Hook Houses [at Bush Street] as they are not required at this building."

The FDNY is investigating the cause of the fire, and it was unclear if the non-working hydrant had been damaged by Sandy. An investigation into the fire was ongoing, the FDNY said.

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