Overnight Blaze Burns through Apartment Building

NY Post - December 28, 2015

by Gabrielle Fonrouge

Residents fled for their lives as fire engulfed a three-story apartment building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn early Monday morning.

Officials did not believe anyone was injured in the fire, which began raging through the building at around 1:40 a.m. and continued to burn into the pre-dawn hours.

Residents at the building, at 40 Richardson Street, just south of McCarren Park, were awakened by the smell of smoke and by neighbors banging on each others’ doors.

“One woman said she was sleeping and she started to smell smoke,” according to a fire insurance appraiser who asked his name not be used.

Then, “neighbors were banging at her door and they were all getting out of the apartment. As far as I know from the residents and the officials I have spoken to, all of the building tenants have gotten out.”

Neighbor Lorenzo Panella, 42, said he was wakened by what sounded like fireworks, followed by a loud boom. He rushed to his window and saw flames shooting out of the burning building. “It came in a second,” he said.