Saturday, November 22, 2014

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Lightning Strike Not Ruled Out In Seven-Alarm Brooklyn Fire

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TWC News: Lightning Strike Not Ruled Out In Seven-Alarm Brooklyn Fire
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Dozens of Brooklyn residents were displaced Thursday after a massive fire quickly tore through their building. NY1's Polly Kreisman filed the following report.

A lightning strike on the roof of 665 New York Avenue was the probable cause of a seven-alarm blaze there Thursday morning.

It took more than 200 firefighters more than three hours to control the flames.

24 firefighters and one resident of the seven-story building were injured.

One woman said the firefighters were heroic.

"They saved our lives," she said. "When I came out, I didn't know where to do. I was holding the wall and then I came down."

Fire officials said Thursday's heat and humidity made the job a brutal one.

"The heat and humidity make it much harder," said FDNY Chief Robert Sweeney. "100-plus pounds of gear, walking up seven stories, heat-related injuries."

One Red Cross official was overcome by the heat and had to be revived.

From the roof across the street, the intensity of the fire was evident. Giant plumes of smoke were visible almost a mile away.

Ladder companies tried to douse the flames from bucket trucks while other firefighters positioned themselves inside the building, knocking out windows in their attempt to quash the flames. It proved too dangerous, so they moved all their efforts to the outside, ultimately bringing it under control.

The Red Cross set up a temporary shelter for the residents of the 106 apartments affected.

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