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Brooklyn, NY - 12 Hurt In Massive Midwood Fire That Torched At Least Three Homes; Arson Suspected, Police Looking For Suspect

Published on: June 13, 2019 08:21 AM
Last updated on: June 13, 2019 10:07 AM
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Four alarm fire tore through three buildings on East 17th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn just after 4:10 a.m. Twelve people suffered injuries suffering injuries ranging in serious condition to minor injuries. Searches of the building were negative. More then 175 firefighters operated at the fire. The fire was declared under control just after 7:30 a.m. (Lloyd Mitchell/VINnews.com)Four alarm fire tore through three buildings on East 17th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn just after 4:10 a.m. Twelve people suffered injuries suffering injuries ranging in serious condition to minor injuries. Searches of the building were negative. More then 175 firefighters operated at the fire. The fire was declared under control just after 7:30 a.m. (Lloyd Mitchell/VINnews.com)

Brooklyn, NY - A massive fire in the Midwood section of Brooklyn torched at least three buildings early Thursday morning, injuring at least 12 people, including a baby.

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The fire broke out just after 4 AM on E17th Street near Avenue O at the two-family home of Rabbi Jonathan Max, and quickly jumped to both neighboring houses.

“There is no question that everyone is alive today because the houses had working smoke detectors,” Misaskim director Yanky Meyer told VIN News.  “There were only seconds for people to be able to get out here. There were no minutes.”

Meyer said that a family with a six week old baby was trapped in the attic in one of the adjacent homes as the fire raged on the stairs, their only exit.  The family was evacuated by the fire department who used a ladder truck to extricate them from the burning building.

Video from the E. 17th Street scene showed flames leaping from the roof of one home, and the structure to its left already little more than a charred hulk. Firefighters reported that two roofs had completely collapsed.

While Investigators are tight lipped, Sources told VIN news the fire is believed to have been set by a man, who has a history of instability and has a long standing grudge against Rabbi Max, a teacher at Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin served as the high school dorm counselor for many years.

An accelerant is believed to have been used in the fire with raw video footage showing the massive blaze erupting in a matter of seconds.

In a press conference held this morning, Fire Chief Thomas Richardson said that it took less than five minutes for the FDNY to respond to the fire, with all three homes already engulfed by the time fire crews arrived on scene.  The fire was upgraded to a three alarm fire within five minutes, with 40 fire units, 25 EMS members and 170 firefighters keeping the flames from spreading to additional homes.  The fire was upgraded to a four alarm fire before it was finally brought under control after 7 AM this morning.

Rabbi Max’s home sustained serious damage, with an extensive collapse of both the roof and the upper floor, according to Chief Richardson.  The rooms of both of the adjacent homes also sustained partial collapses.

Three adults, a baby and one firefighter were all hospitalized for minor injuries and/or smoke inhalation. All are in stable condition.

An investigation by fire marshals is ongoing.

(Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)(Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)
(Lloyd Mitchell/VINnews.com) (Lloyd Mitchell/VINnews.com)
(Lloyd Mitchell/VINnews.com) (Lloyd Mitchell/VINnews.com)
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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 13, 2019 at 09:25 AM Aguttenshabbos Says:

And that's exactly why you don't park by a fire hydrant.

2

 Jun 13, 2019 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

E. 17th St., and where?

3

 Jun 13, 2019 at 10:29 AM ercsd Says:

I'm glad everyone is okay. I just wonder if it was legal that there was a family living in the attic?

4

 Jun 13, 2019 at 10:49 AM Lock him up Says:

If the stories referring to a possible feud led to this; lock the perp up, Jew or Jew.
This is a devastating effect event for all involved and that statement is based on hoping there are no injuries. I do not want to think of alternatives scenarios.

5

 Jun 13, 2019 at 11:08 AM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

I heard that he tried to get NYPD to protect him from this individual but the cops cavalier attitude towards this, led to no follow up NYPD actions and now this. the NYPD is really a careless and negligent fraternity house with cops being arrested in the last month for hiring hit men and running a zona business.

6

 Jun 13, 2019 at 11:21 AM Granny Says:

Reply to #1  
Aguttenshabbos Says:

And that's exactly why you don't park by a fire hydrant.

Thank you for saying this! You are 100% correct! How often do we see cars parked in front of a hydrant because the driver just has to run in somewhere "for a few minutes"? Minutes can kill people, chas v'sholom, in a fire.

7

 Jun 13, 2019 at 11:37 AM moshe Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

E. 17th St., and where?

Between Avenue's N & O

8

 Jun 13, 2019 at 11:40 AM Moshe Says:

Reply to #4  
Lock him up Says:

If the stories referring to a possible feud led to this; lock the perp up, Jew or Jew.
This is a devastating effect event for all involved and that statement is based on hoping there are no injuries. I do not want to think of alternatives scenarios.

B'H, there were only minor injuries, mostly smoke inhalation (I think).

9

 Jun 13, 2019 at 12:45 PM Oyvey Says:

Reply to #5  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

I heard that he tried to get NYPD to protect him from this individual but the cops cavalier attitude towards this, led to no follow up NYPD actions and now this. the NYPD is really a careless and negligent fraternity house with cops being arrested in the last month for hiring hit men and running a zona business.

Active (but not official) policy of police in this area is to do nothing to prevent crime; just maybe react to crimes after they happen. There hasn't been a beat cop in this area in years; just a few cars traveling and handing out tickets.

10

 Jun 13, 2019 at 12:59 PM lbk-new Says:

Reply to #5  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

I heard that he tried to get NYPD to protect him from this individual but the cops cavalier attitude towards this, led to no follow up NYPD actions and now this. the NYPD is really a careless and negligent fraternity house with cops being arrested in the last month for hiring hit men and running a zona business.

Supposedly he has threatened other members of the hanhalah in chaim berlin as recently as this past weekend, and he was spotted in the yeshiva yesterday. Why isn't his picture posted on all news sites so that people can identify him and turn him in?

11

 Jun 13, 2019 at 01:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Oyvey Says:

Active (but not official) policy of police in this area is to do nothing to prevent crime; just maybe react to crimes after they happen. There hasn't been a beat cop in this area in years; just a few cars traveling and handing out tickets.

Well put .

12

 Jun 13, 2019 at 02:34 PM StevenWright Says:

Reply to #9  
Oyvey Says:

Active (but not official) policy of police in this area is to do nothing to prevent crime; just maybe react to crimes after they happen. There hasn't been a beat cop in this area in years; just a few cars traveling and handing out tickets.

C[orruption] P[rocrastination] R[acism]

13

 Jun 13, 2019 at 02:57 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

ultimately it is the NYPD that led to this, by not acting, but remember keep buying the de blasio lie to crime is falling. the 70 precinct is by far the worst in the city and get the worst commanders, this area is in the 70.

14

 Jun 13, 2019 at 05:30 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Reply to #9  
Oyvey Says:

Active (but not official) policy of police in this area is to do nothing to prevent crime; just maybe react to crimes after they happen. There hasn't been a beat cop in this area in years; just a few cars traveling and handing out tickets.

we really need to get chaim and kalman on this

15

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