7-alarm fire burns through storage facility in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Marcus Solis has the latest on a massive fire that destroyed a warehouse in Williamsburg.

Firefighters have finally gotten the upper hand on a stubborn warehouse fire that has raged since early Saturday morning at a warehouse in Brooklyn.

From the ground, from ladders and even from a boat, 275 firefighters tried to put out a massive blaze that had dozens of Williamsburg residents on the streets trying to get a look.

On Sunday morning, firefighters were continuing to spray water on remaining hot spots as the fire still smoldered. T

The fire consumed a storage facility and created smoke that could be seen from every borough. More than 20,000 of water are being pumped on the fire every minute, but it has been extremely hard to extinguish, because the building is a warehouse that stores company files.

The city Health Department issued an advisory late Saturday warning anyone near the fire or downwind of it to stay inside and keep windows closed.

The department said air quality has been affected, and people with respiratory ailments may have difficulty breathing.

"There is a tremendous amount of flammables - once that paper stars burning, it's very difficult - it burrows in," says FDNY Chief James Leonard.

No one knows just how the fire started around 6:30 A.M. Saturday, but firefighters actually made two trips to the warehouse.

"We had a fire roughly 4:30 this morning - members were on the scene, they extinguished the fire," adds Chief Leonard.

A short time, crews were called back out and found the building completely engulfed. The fire marshal is investigating both fires now. The smoke created was intolerable at times, and completely filled the streets. People ran around trying to cover their faces, and Eyewitness News even had to do interviews wearing a mask.

One man thought the fire was in his own building.

"The smoke's pretty terrible - we live about 3 blocks away, and I mean it's all through the apartment," said Williamsburg resident Brian Green.

Chief Leonard says the way the wind is coming off of the river, it is creating a heavy smoke.

"This is going to smolder for quite some time," he says.

The wind and cold also created horrible conditions for the firefighters - water from the hose froze on the line. The firefighters are working in three hour shifts because of those conditions.

There has only been one injury - a person who came to see the fire suffered smoke inhalation. Crews believe it could be 2 to 3 weeks before the fire is completely out.

From M Katrina Corcoran via Twitter

(Some information from the Associated Press.)
Related Topics:
building firefirecoldfreezeWilliamsburgNew York City
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