Fire in Subway Car at 110th Street Station Kills Conductor and Injures 16; Arson Not Ruled Out

Photograph via Wikipedia.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Fire erupted early Friday morning in the second car of a northbound No. 2 train as it pulled into the West 110th Street station. Garett Goble, 36, an MTA train operator, died trying to evacuate passengers. Sixteen other people were injured, four of them seriously. It was the third fire inside an Upper West Side subway station that morning, raising the possibility of arson.

“NYPD Deputy Chief Brian McGee said that police had discovered smaller fires at the 86th Street and 96th Street subway platforms, as well as a street fire at 116th Street,” Gothamist reported. “It was ‘more than likely’ that they were connected, he said…The two-alarm fire brought 25 units and 106 firefighters to 110th Street overnight. Service on several trains  was briefly suspended. As of 6:45 a.m., the FDNY was still working to ‘extinguish a fire at Central Park North,’ according to the MTA.”

Goble and another MTA employee managed to get commuters out to the station as first responders arrived, said Sarah Feinberg, interim president of NYC Transit. “They certainly put their lives at risk to get these people out,” Feinberg added, according to a Daily News story.  One of Goble’s fellow train operators tweeted the following:

NEWS | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Ben David says:

      “It was the third fire inside an Upper West Side subway station that morning, raising the possibility of arson.”
      Not only was this man working through coronavirus pandemic, but he gave his life for what may be arson?
      If anyone is arrested for doing this, they will probably not go to jail because of bail reform or the corona “let’s empty the jails” policy of NYC.
      May this poor man rest in peace.

    2. D-Rex says:

      The greatest sympathies to Mr. Goble’s family. What a heroic effort and what a terrible loss.
      May he rest in peace.

    3. Dita says:

      Mr Goble died, probably of smoke inhalation, saving people. There are no words. My heart breaks for his family and loved ones, a good man in terrible times is an even bigger loss.

    4. NYYgirl says:

      RIP & condolences to his family. 🙁

    5. Oona says:

      Time to demand 2 exits at every subway stop. Uptown West 86 St is a death trap for sure.

    6. Marianne says:

      Mr Goble made sure, passengers could exit the train at the expense of his own life. I feel utterly devastated, my condolences to the family and I hope they’ll find the cause of this fire that injured 16!!! people and killed this heroic man.

    7. UWSHebrew says:

      A suspect has been arrested for arson.

    8. In the middle of a multi billion dollar financial crises, why does the MTA continue hiring outside consultants? The latest waste of scarce funds is a contract for $91 million, bringing on board even more consultants. Their task is to assist the MTA’s Transformation Office to decide how to cut 2,700 jobs. One hundred twenty consultants will decide the fate of 2,700 current MTA employees. That comes to 1 consultant recommending the fate of 270 employees. MTA HQ, along with each operating agency including NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, MTA Bus and MTA Capital Construction has a Human Resources Office along with various legal. procurement, engineering, fiscal and other department directors. Why doesn’t MTA Chairman Pat Foye and the MTA Board assign this work to in-house resources already available? Or is this a lack of confidence in current management to make these decisions? There are better ways to spend $91 million than this that would be of benefit to commuters. Safety & Security should be the MTA’s #1 Priority.

      (Larry Penner — transportation historian, writer and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit bus and subway, Staten Island Rail Road, Long Island and Metro North Rail Roads, MTA Bus, New Jersey Transit along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ).

    9. jem says:

      This man was a hero. A hard, thankless job as a subway operator. He died saving others.
      A tragedy.

      Is there any information about donations for his family?

    10. What a loss, we take these operators for granted when using the subway system. Not only do they keep the trains on schedule, they constantly watch out for passengers boarding and exiting the door at each platform. A hero giving his life saving passengers on board. Let’s never take them for granted.

    11. dr Barbara simpson says:

      So sorry

    12. Dara says:

      How is Garrett’s family doing? Can New Yorkers help him? We take that subway and we want to help -collectively we can make a difference. How terribly sad.

      • lynn says:

        Yes, his family has set up a paypal page. There is info there. I posted the link under response #9.

    13. Mark Moore says:

      Arson not ruled out? It was pretty obviously arson, unless four random fires just broke out at the same time.