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Art Garfunkel's Upper East Side Penthouse Catches Fire, Sources Say

By Sybile Penhirin | February 19, 2015 6:31pm
 A small fire started at Art Garfunkel's penthouse at 9 E.79th Street on February 19, 2014.
A small fire started at Art Garfunkel's penthouse at 9 E.79th Street on February 19, 2014.
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Wikipedia/ DNAinfo Sybile Penhirin

UPPER EAST SIDE — Legendary singer Art Garfunkel’s penthouse caught fire Thursday morning after a frozen pipe burst inside a closet, fire officials and sources said.

The fire started on the 15th floor of 9 E. 79th St., near Fifth Avenue, around 11:30 a.m., a spokesman for the Fire department said.

The apartment sits near the townhouse of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

According to fire officials at the scene, the frozen pipe sparked a blaze in the insulation. They did not elaborate.

The iconic folk singer disputed the fire department's account of the outbreak, saying the wall was merely smoking, not on fire, as workman tried to thaw some frozen pipe, according to his publicist, Todd Brodginski.

"Firefighters were called to his Upper East Side apartment after frozen pipes that were being thawed started smoking, prompting their speedy response," the spokesman said.

Firefighters tore down a wall at the singer's apartment, damaging "just 75 in his 1216 neatly-curated literary collection."

There was no one inside the apartment when the fire started and no injuries were reported.

About 20 FDNY units were sent to the luxury building and the fire was brought under control about an hour after it started, fire officials said.

"We can’t praise the speed and effectiveness of the NYFD enough," says Garfunkel, "and extend the most heartfelt and sincere gratitude to the men and women that protect this city."