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Articles Posted in Explosion and Fire Accidents

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Several people were injured and one person died in two fire accidents in New York City this week-end.

Early Saturday around 12;14 am two civilians and two firefighters were injured in a three-alarm blaze in Washington Heights. According to the NY Daily News , the fire started in an apartment on the sixth floor of a building located on Broadway and W. 151st Street. The fire and the smoke spread quickly through the building and 138 firefighters were needed to stop it.

On Sunday morning around 4:00 am,  another fire started in a house in Jackson Heights, Queens killing an 88 year old man who was living there.  65 firefighters were called to the rescue. It took them 45 minutes to stop the blaze that ravaged the house located on 87th Street and 35th Avenue in Queens, NYC. The victim was found dead by the firefighters with severe burns on his body.

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Lionel-Hampton-HousesA fire at a New York High-rise left seven people badly injured last Monday night.  The fire started in a trash compactor located on the 9th floor of the Lionel Hampton Houses in Harlem, NYC (see picture).  A heavy smoke spread through the building forcing residents to break their own windows to be able to breath. Seven people had to be transported to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation injuries including a woman who is still in a coma. The fire may have been the result of a negligent tenant who threw something flammable such as a cigarette into a compactor.   Read more in the NY Daily News

Smoke inhalation can result in severe respiratory injuries and sometimes death. Respiratory injuries are the number one cause of deaths related to indoor fire accidents. When an indoor fire erupts, the combustion of multiple building materials releases a hot smoke that spreads toxic amounts of carbon monoxide and cyanide in the air. The heat of the smoke can cause internal burning to the respiratory system. The carbon monoxide and cyanide released during the combustion can lead to poisoning, pulmonary irritation and swelling.  If severe, these injuries combined together are often fatal.

The same night, a 53 year old woman suffered serious burn injuries in a Bronx apartment fire. The investigation determined that the fired was caused by a discarded cigarette. (Read more in the NY Daily News).

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Hoverboard fireAnother defective hoverboard burst into flames creating a fire in a New York City home last week. According to the FDNY this is the third recent case of  a hoverboard fire in the city. Lorraine White from Staten Island paid more than $400 for a Swagway hoverboard for her son last Christmas. She knew about the risk of fire. Therefore she avoided buying a cheap knockoff and paid over $400 for a popular “Swagway” model thinking that it would be safer. It wasn’t the case.  One evening, the hoverboard started to smoke in her son’s room and then burst into flames destroying part of the bedroom. Thankfully nobody was injured. (read more in the silive)

Another boy from Staten Island suffered personal injury after he tried to clean his hoverboard during a vacation in the Poconos. 11 year old Brandon Miller was hospitalized after the middle finger of his left hand became stuck between the wheel and the base. According to the mother the device started rotating unexpectedly and sucked the boy’s finger in. The boy may risk loosing his finger due to infection and may have permanent burn scares.

Previoulsy the FDNY was also called to stop a fire caused by a defective product in Brooklyn.  (see NY Daily News)

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hoverboardCases of defective hoverboards busting into flames or exploding all over the world have prompted the National Fire Marshall Organization to issue a warning about the safety risks related to these fashionable products. A similar warning was also issued by the UK’s National Trading Standard after 88% of the products they tested posed a risk of catching fire.  In New York, these self balanced scooters have been declared illegal and users risk a fine of $200 if they are caught by the police riding them.

Because hoverboards are in high demand this holiday season, negligent manufacturers have been flooding the market with shoddy versions of the toy that have a high risk of catching fire. Explosions often happen during charging time and are caused by defective lithium batteries but cases of hoverboards catching fire during rides have also been reported.  In Louisiana an exploding hoverboard led to a fire that completely destroyed a house (see video below).

Read more in the NY Daily News

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A fire in an apartment building in New York City injured 3 people and left one dead. The fire erupted around 9:45 pm yesterday night  in a a 3-story building on Hancock Street near Bedford Ave in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. a 56 year old man was taken to the hospital and died from his injuries. 3 other people were also taken to the hospital. All 3 suffered from smoke inhalation and were treated and released. The FDNY are investigating the cause of the fire. Read more in the NY Daily News

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A woman died and at least 13 people suffered personal injury in a New York City gas explosion last week-end.  The gas explosion took place at 4206 13th Avenue near 42nd Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, around 1 pm on Saturday afternoon. The front of the building was completely destroyed and 200 firefighters were called to stop the blaze.  According to investigators the gas explosion may have been caused by a tenant that had recently been evicted. In the tenant’s apartment, investigators discovered that a stove was disconnected from its gas hook. They suspect that the tenant who is still missing but was identified as Francisca Figueroa, was trying to commit suicide. She had recently posted suicidal messages on social media. Read more in the Gothamist


An article that came out tonight in the Daily News indicates that Francisca Figueroa was working for a Beauty Salon and that she may have used chemicals from the salon to create the explosion. Apparently the gas had been turned off for non payment.

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NYC explosionA construction worker was critically injured and two others suffered serious personal injury in a gas explosion that rocked the walls of the science lab at John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx, NYC. 36 year Luigi Barillaro, 38 year old James Intriago and 53 year old Charles Marullo, were all working for the plumbing and heating company Mar-Sal Plumbing & Heating Inc., based on Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park, Queens, NYC. The company was hired to install a tabletop gas valve as part of a science lab construction project located on the sixth floor of the building. The 3 men had been working all day and the room was filled with gas but they apparently didn’t detect the smell of gas because they had been desensitized to it. At one point Luigi Barillaro lit a match to check if the gas was working, sparking a huge explosion, blowing out the walls and sending debris flying 200 feet.

Barillaro was critically injured and had burns over most his body. He has already undergone multiple skin-grafting surgeries. Intriago and Maruallo were also still in the hospital and being treated for burns to their arms and faces.

The school was issued a full vacate order for the entire building and a safety zone was put in place along some facades. Students who were supposed to start school there on September 9 will have to be temporarily relocated.

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22 people including 10 firefighters suffered personal injury in a two-alarm fire that ravaged the 16th and 17th floors of a high rise building on 3333 Broadway in Manhattan. The fire started around 10:00 am in the morning and firefighters battled the blaze for two hours until it was controlled (read more in the NY Daily News).

Later on, in the afternoon, two people died in blaze that destroyed a house in the Rockaways in Queens, NYC. According to the NYFD, the house was very cluttered making it difficult for firefighters to reach the kitchen where the two victims were located.

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A man died after he jumped out of a building on fire yesterday in East Harlem, New York.  The fire started Sunday morning around 5:50 am at 245 E. 124th St. near Second Ave (see picture). In an attempt to flee the blaze, the 58 year old man who was living on the seventh floor jumped out of his window.  He was found outside the building in critical condition and was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries. Four other people, including a firefighter suffered personal injury and were also transported to the hospital. It took firefighters an hour to stop the fire.  Read more in the NY Daily News

245 East 124th Street

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A manhole explosion sent fire and black smoke in the air this morning around 9:30 on 37th Street between Seven and Eighth Ave in Manhattan, NYC. The explosion caused several buildings nearby to loose power for some time. One building was reported to have no power for at least 8 hours. It took several hours for the firefighters to stop the fire that was coming out of the manhole. Manhole explosions often happen when the rain brings down the salt from the winter into frayed wire or when rats  gnawed at the wire. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of this specific explosion. read more on NBC New York.