Update: 5:25 p.m., The FDNY said the fire was placed under control at 3:17 p.m. and eight firefighters were taken to area hospitals to be treated for minor injuries.
Huge plumes of smoke are billowing into the gloomy sky as burns on Fourth Avenue.
A five-alarm fire erupted on the second floor at around 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon in the mechanic supply warehouse between Sackett and Degraw and is still burning.
Over 50 employees were in the building, but luckily no injuries have been reported, according to an FDNY spokesman.
“Someone screamed ‘Fire!’ but we thought it was nothing since no one was moving at first,” said Alfredo Sanchez, who has been with Danken for five years and was standing in the rain across the street from his job site, now in flames. “Then we saw the smoke and everyone ran out at once. Everyone was accounted for, so all of us are safe.”
Sanchez said no one was on the second floor when the fire broke out.
Dozens of bystanders watched the grey, brown and black smoke plume into the air while three hoses drenched the building with water from ladders to no avail.
Fire trucks and fire fighters from the surrounding areas came to help out. Fourth Avenue was shut down for blocks going north and south. Fire hoses striped the street with yellow and white.
“I was on a delivery when I read my friend’s Facebook wall that said ‘Danken’s on fire!’ I was headed back to the shop and I could see the smoke from two blocks away,” said Chris Chamorro, who has been working at Danken for ten years. “That’s it, it’s all ruined. This is a staple for Brooklyn mechanics. There are millions of dollars worth of products in there.”
Chamorro, standing across the street under some scaffolding to get out of the rain, said this Danken location is very important because it supplies mechanics from Bay Ridge to Manhattan.
Jim Long, an FNDY spokesman at the scene, confirmed that there were no injuries, the cause of the fire is still unknown and the structure seemed to be stable.
“The fire is very much still burning. It is still very active,” Long said as he watched smoke engulf the building from the middle of the Avenue. “There’s a lot of stock and storage on the second floor where the fire started, so fighting it from the outside is hard to get to the seed of the fire. Things are falling over the flames and the ceiling may be collapsing, so when our water is not on it keeps growing.”
Long explained that other accelerants are probably fueling the fire, like oil and lubricants. He said this will be an “extended operation.”
Fire marshals were interviewing the owners and employees on the scene, Long said. After the fire is out a full investigation will ensue and then the marshals should be able to understand the cause.
“We got out just in time,” said a Danken employee who did not want to give his name. “We got out just in time.”
If anyone has pictures, anecdotes or video of the fire, please share them with us.