Historic Red Hook warehouse goes up in flames

Posted: Updated:
RED HOOK -

About 106 firefighters and two boats responded to a vacant warehouse fire Thursday night in Red Hook.

The flames broke out around 11:15 p.m. at the building on Smith Street and Creamer Avenue.

No injuries were reported. The building remains standing despite heavy roof damage.

An office manager for developer Meyer Chetrit told News 12 that they were not allowed to comment.

Community members say the three-story building included another section that's already been torn down. It was built in the late 1880s and used to be known as the S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse, according to local historical experts.

The fire happened as historical groups were working to landmark the building.

The New York City Department of Buildings has issued a full vacate order for the property. There are also civil penalties due for violations on the site.

On Wednesday, the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition met with City Councilman Carlos Menchaca to ask that the proposal to landmark the building be reopened. It was brought up last year and also in 2009, but no major action was taken.

"The timing of the fire immediately on the heels of the meeting and the subsequent outreach to the owner paints the blaze in an incredibly suspicious light," the group said in a statement. "This is a true, sad loss for the community. It's time for an investigation."

The group plans to continue pursuing the landmark status even after the fire.

The FDNY is still determining the cause. Some nearby businesses say they were asked for any surveillance video to see whether the fire was intentionally set.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."