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Myrtle Ave. Tenants Remain Displaced After Fire Above Putnam's Pub

By Alexandra Leon | February 21, 2017 6:31pm
 Putnam's Pub & Cooker was damaged by a fire above the Myrtle Avenue restaurant.
Putnam's Pub & Cooker was damaged by a fire above the Myrtle Avenue restaurant.
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DNAinfo/Alexandra Leon

CLINTON HILL — More than a dozen tenants remain without heat or hot water while a restaurant is closed after a Valentine’s Day fire ripped through the ceiling of a Myrtle Avenue building.

Since the blaze at 419 Myrtle Ave., a few of the building’s 16 tenants have been sleeping in their apartments at night, but most have been renting temporary apartments or staying with friends and family, according to the landlord and a building resident.

The fire — which started between the first-floor Putnam’s Pub & Cooker and the building's second floor around 11 a.m. on Feb. 14 — caused significant damage to the building.

Firefighters had to cut holes into the walls and ceilings, as well as break down apartment entry doors, on the second and fourth floors, noted the 32-year-old resident, who declined to give her name.

“They basically chopped into the drywall,” she said. “There are gaping holes in all of the wall.”

The fire also left a strong smell of smoke and dark residue on the walls and floors, the tenant added.

The restaurant also remained shuttered as of Tuesday.

Building owner Prynn Kaplan said she was working to restore gas and hot water to the 12-unit building by this week. The property has already been cleaned, and repairs to the walls and ceilings will be made “in the most efficient way possible,” she said.

Kaplan, who has owned the building since 2000, said she has also ordered new doors for each apartment.

“[The tenants] have been so kind and nice and cooperative,” she said. “This is so unfair.”

Meanwhile, Putnam’s Pub suffered both water and structural damage.

The restaurant’s owner did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment, and a phone call to the restaurant’s main line went unanswered.

Meanwhile, donors raised $3,050 through a GoFundMe campaign to help out Putnam’s employees who are temporarily out of work while the restaurant is closed.  

Paula McAleese, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 17 years, said the donation will help restaurant employees who rely on tips to pay for things like cellphone bills.

“Putnam’s is such a huge part of of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill,” she said. 

“Everyone is trying to pull together really quickly and rally behind them and show the owners we support them and miss them.”