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Bedford Avenue Fire Caused by Bank's Wiring, Officials Say

By Meredith Hoffman | January 23, 2013 12:43pm

WILLIAMSBURG — The massive blaze that ripped through two Bedford Avenue buildings began in the walls of the Cross County Savings Bank and appeared to be accidental, the FDNY tweeted Wednesday.

The raging inferno sparked at the bank, located at 175 Bedford Ave., Tuesday afternoon and quickly spread to Ella Cafe and apartments at 177 Bedford Ave., according to the FDNY.

The cause of the fire appeared to have been electrical wiring in the bank's walls, fire marshals found.

"Cause of 1/22 4-alarm fire at 175 Bedford, #Brooklyn, was accidental-electrical, wiring in store walls," the department tweeted.

Two firefighters were injured when a ceiling partially collapsed in the bank's building, and nearly 200 firefighters fought the four-alarm blaze before getting it under control, officials said.

Cross County Savings Bank was closed Wednesday and representatives for the business did not immediately respond to calls requesting comment.

The fire on Tuesday — which destroyed some residents' homes at 177 Bedford Ave. — was the second fire in as many weeks on the popular Bedford Avenue strip. On Jan. 9, a blaze burned down the cafe, Oslo Coffee, at 328 Bedford Ave.

Fire officials determined that that blaze was accidental, too, caused by "wiring in the rear of the coffee shop."