Fire, gas leak displace Bleeker Avenue tenants

By Ashley Helms
Fire trucks swarmed a condominium complex in the village on Nov. 16 in response to a fire on the top floor of a five-story building, raising concern and curiosity among residents in the surrounding area.

The complex, located at 490 Bleeker Ave., was evacuated after an oven fire in apartment 5G caused two separate fire alarms to go off and resulted in damage to a Con Edison gas line. When gas in the building was turned back on after the fire was extinguished, gas leaks were discovered. Residents will not be allowed back in to the building until the leaks are fixed, according to Village Manager Richard Slingerland.
Emergency personnel arrived at the scene at about 11:47 a.m. on Saturday and had the fire under control by 12:20 p.m.
“Heat and hot water is restored in the building, but people aren’t allowed back yet,” Slingerland said. “We’re trying to find additional leaks; Con [Edison] locked down the internal valves at the meters. Basically, they’ve locked gas lines down at the meters.”

The apartment where the fire originated, along with six other units that sustained heavy water damage from efforts to put the blaze out, will take longer to become habitable again. These units are located in the east wing of the building, which will remain sealed for the next two to three weeks until the damage can be repaired and residents are allowed to move back in.

Slingerland said village ma­nagement expects tenants in the west wing of the building, where fire damage did not occur, to be back in their units within the next few days.

“The apartment that had the fire was pretty severely damaged,” the village manager said.

The American Red Cross was on scene to assist anyone who required shelter until they are allowed to move back in, but Slingerland said everyone in the building’s 70 to 80 apartments were able to find temporary h­ousing.

Debbie Reisner, a Green­ha­ven resident in Rye City, said she was playing paddle tennis at Beach Point Club at about 11 a.m. when she noticed fire trucks arrive.

“I never heard so many fire engines in my life,” Reisner said. “It was crawling with fire engines.”

Village of Mamaroneck Bu­ilding Inspector Bill Gerety could not be reached for comment as of press time.