Tuesday, October 30, 2012

At least 80 homes destroyed as six-alarm blaze rips through Queens

Frank Franklin Ii / AP
A fire that ravaged through the flooded Breezy Point neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens destroyed at least 50 houses Monday night.
Updated at 9:23 a.m.: NEW YORK --  At least 80 homes were destroyed in the New York City borough of Queens early Tuesday as crews continued to battle a six-alarm fire into the daylight.
FDNY spokesperson Michael Parrella told NBC News that nearly 200 firefighters were on the scene by 5 a.m. Tuesday, battling high winds that made the flames difficult to knock down.FDNY officials said the fire at Breezy Point was reported at about 11 p.m. ET on Monday in a Zone A area, which the New York City Office of Emergency Management declared to be the highest risk of flooding from Superstorm Sandy’s storm surge.

Damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point on the Tuesday, morning in in the New York City borough of Queens. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze but they are still putting out some pockets of fire.

With chest-high water from the storm filling the street, firefighters had to use a boat to make rescues, the Associated Press reported. Fire department officials said about 25 people were trapped in the upstairs unit of one apartment, and the two-story home next door was ablaze and setting fire to the apartment’s roof. Firefighters climbed an awning to rescue the trapped people and took them downstairs to a boat in the street.

Andrew Burton / Getty Images
Superstorm Sandy made landfall Monday evening on a destructive and deadly path across the Northeast.
Parrella said the six-alarm blaze was largely contained Tuesday morning after the fire ravaged through several blocks and destroyed some 80 homes, but there were pockets still smoldering. City officials said it appeared most of the area was evacuated prior to the fire, and no serious injuries have been reported, reported.

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About 170 firefighters were called to the scene in Breezy Point, Queens, where at least 50 homes have caught fire. MSNBC's Chris Jansing reports.
One firefighter sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital, Parrella said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, Parrella said, and weather was still a factor.
The Breezy Point neighborhood, which functions mainly as a summer get-away for many residents of New York, sits on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. The small, coastal area contains about 3,500 homes.
Reports of the fire came just hours before President Barack Obama signed a major disaster declaration for New York and Long Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, enabling federal aid to assist with storm recovery efforts.

Breezy Point: 'Whatever is not flooded is on fire'

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New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, gives a brief update on a horrific fire, in the Breezy Point section of New York City's, that charred "more than 80 homes."

Waves pound a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie Tuesday, near Cleveland. High winds spinning off the edge of Hurricane Sandy took a vicious swipe at northeast Ohio early Tuesday, uprooting trees, cutting power to hundreds of thousands, closing schools and flooding parts of major commuter arteries that run along Lake Erie.

A videographer captures the scene where a tree crushed a house in Toronto on Tuesday.

Water reaches street level of the West Street entrance to the flooded Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Tuesday in New York.

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