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BY KAITLYN MEADE WITH TEQUILA MINSKY
The blocks around Greenwich and Desbrosses Sts. were barricaded by fire trucks and ambulances when a fire broke out Friday morning at a Tribeca garage and workshop. So far the only reported injury is to one firefighter, who was not hurt badly, according to a deputy chief on the scene.
The EZ Park at 456 Greenwich St. went up on Feb. 22 at 10:08 a.m., a New York Fire Department spokesperson said.
Smoke poured from the upper floor of the garage at Greenwich and Desbrosses, said Elvis Jacquez, manager of the building across the street.
“I smelled smoke and came outside and heard a ‘boom’,” he said.
“I heard the explosion. It was a pretty loud pop,” said Fred Hill, who was on the terrace of his Hudson St. residence, about a block away, when the blaze broke out.
Witnesses said the garage’s manager got many of the cars out before the smoke became too intense. Neighbors also saw one woman and her child escorted out of the next door Greenwich St. apartment by fire personnel.
No civilian injuries were reported and there’s only one minor injury to a firefighter so far, said Deputy Chief Jim Hodgens. Fire marshals on the scene were investigating the cause.
Hodgens did not confirm the report of an explosion in the building or rumors that there were several vehicle fires in the garage as well.
The “two-alarm” blaze began on the second floor, which contains a welding workshop, and was mostly contained to the roof. F.D.N.Y. responded with 25 units and a total of 106 firefighters. They managed to get the smoke and fire under control by 10:51 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., the majority of the trucks were packing up clearing the streets.
Firefighters vented the building by cutting holes in the side and roof. “You can see where they cut through the roof with the buzz saw,” said E.M.S. personnel Victor Leone.
About 10 ambulances also responded to the scene. Hodgens said the response was standard.
He said there was no propane found in the garage, but there was mechanical equipment such as torches, which necessitates extra caution.
An emergency van from Con Edison was on the scene and said electricity had been shut off. The building’s owner was also on the scene but could not be reached for a response.