The seven-alarm fire that engulfed a Williamsburg warehouse on Saturday morning is still burning. The New York Times reports that, “About 275 firefighters were on the scene on Saturday night, and units had been switching out about every three hours.” “This is going to smolder for quite some time,” said FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard. No members of the FDNY have been injured so far, though one civilian was treated for smoke inhalation.
As was reported yesterday, the building, located at 5 North 11th Street, is owned by CitiStorage. The Times reports that the waterfront facility is filled with New York government files, including documents from the state court system, the city Administration for Children’s Services, the city Health and Hospitals Corporation, and members of the Greater New York Hospital Association. Along with this weekend’s strong winds, the paper and cardboard boxes are fueling the fire. “Tremendous amount of flammables. This type of building, too, once that paper starts burning, it’s very difficult. It burrows in,” said James.
The quality around the building is obviously not great at the moment, but the Health Department says that healthy people in the area should be fine, though neighbors have been advised to keep their windows closed and stay indoors if possible. Meanwhile, children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions need to watch out: “If anyone in the immediate area experiences shortness of breath, chest pains, or a worsening medical condition such as asthma, they should seek immediate medical attention.”