Fast-Growing Fire Nearly Claims the Lives of 22 People in Brooklyn
MILL BASIN, BROOKLYN — September 18, 2018
The fire started on Monday morning when, according to preliminary data, a man accidentally threw out an unburned cigarette at the parking garage of Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn.
As a result of the incident, at least 22 people who were in the parking lot suffered.
A fast-growing fire quickly spread throughout the area, sweeping away the cars in its way, authorities said. Multiple vehicles caught on fire on two floors of the four-story parking garage, located at 5100 Kings Plaza, according to the New York City Fire Department.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said about 120 cars were stored on the second floor of the parking garage by a local dealership. It was not immediately known how many cars caught on fire.
In a tweet, Kings Plaza said the mall is currently closed and told the public to avoid the area.
Kings Plaza currently closed. Multiple cars on fire in garage and smoke conditions. FDNY on scene. Avoid area.— Kings Plaza Mall (@KingsPlazaMall) September 17, 2018
Clarifies that the fire broke out shortly before 9 a.m. and three hours later, it was still burning. Dark plumes of smoke were billowing from the structure and could be seen from miles away.
Eighteen firefighters and 3 civilians were hurt, according to Nigro. All of them suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
"Members have various levels of smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, working under these conditions," FDNY spokesman said.
The fire is being investigated as 'suspicious, sources told PIX11 News. Police released a picture of a person of interest connected to the fire.
Task force members from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on scene investigating.