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Sanitation Fire on Pier 97 Caused by AC Unit, Report Says

By Ben Fractenberg | September 4, 2010 6:11pm | Updated on September 7, 2010 5:55am

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — The trash fire on Pier 97 on Manhattan’s west side Saturday was started by and air conditioning unit in a temporary trailer, the New York Post reported Monday.

The fire broke out Saturday afternoon in a trailer set up as a locker room for Sanitation workers, and sent a plume of black smoke into the air over Manhattan.

"An air conditioner totally blew up and went through a car window and caused the fire," Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association president Harry Nespoli told The Post. "Some of my men said they heard a cracking sound near the air conditioner and the next thing they knew, the place was up in flames. An air conditioner went through the window of a city car."

Nespoli said the blaze could have been avoided if the Department of Sanitation had completed planned construction on the pier.

"For 10 years, they have had four or five different contractors. [Saturday's fire] was an awakening," he told the paper.

The Sanitation Department maintains a temporary facility on the pier while a permanent one is under construction.

The fire started around 3:30 p.m. and was put under control by late afternoon.

More than 30 FDNY unites responded to the blaze, including marine unites and divers.

The fire was not considered suspicious, the FDNY told the Post.