Four Injured in Fire on Columbus Avenue; People Had Been Setting Off Fireworks Nearby

A fire that broke out around 2 a.m. on Sunday resulted in four injuries at an apartment building on Columbus Avenue and 95th Street. The fire was called in at 2:23 a.m on the ninth floor of 700 Columbus Avenue. The four civilians who were injured were transported to the hospital.

A West Side Rag reader who lives in a nearby building tells us that neighbors there spotted a group of three or four young men sitting on a bench behind the Citi Bike installation at 95th and Columbus opposite the affected building, and setting off fireworks across the street — directly outside the building that experienced the fire. The reader called 911 multiple times before the incident.

The fire drew a large response from FDNY, as seen in the video below.

Fire on Ninth Floor @CitizenApp

W 95th St & Columbus Ave 2:27:37 AM EDT

Illegal fireworks have resulted in several injuries around the city in recent days.

The fire was declared under control at 3:07 a.m., according to the FDNY.

NEWS | 50 comments | permalink
    1. Evan Bando says:

      At least the FDNY is still working for their taxpayer-provided paycheck.

    2. Cyrus says:

      Manhattan Avenue was a war zone on Saturday night. Cops drove by the groups setting off fireworks and did NOTHING. Thanks 24th Precinct!

      • John says:

        What do you expect? Neuter the police force and you get no policing. This is what BLM wanted and this is what you get.

        • Millicent Broderick says:

          These police are not receiving paychecks? Their job description changed? I don’t believe so. Budget changes will be effected in future., this may be “work to rule” we are witnessing.

          • davidaron60 says:

            I agree.I’m aware that police have also stopped responding to 311 QOL service requests via the NYC 311 app lately. How could this be? Not their jurisdiction all of a sudden? We have not been officially notified of any changes as to how these are currently being handled.

          • MQue says:

            What do you want them to do? The Mayor does not want the ones setting off the fireworks to go to jail he only wants the people selling them to go to jail.

        • woodcider says:

          All they are doing is proving that they can and should be defunded. The Blue Flu will become a massive self own.

      • Romeo Salta says:

        The FDNY doesn’t have to deal with the jerks who break thee law and endanger the public. The police do, and why should they confront these criminals and risk an altercation and then be accused of brutality? Our moronic mayor has endorsed cutting the size of the force and overtime pay, and he supports the notion that the NYPD is racist (even though most cops are now minority). This City is going down the tubes with few people moving in and many moving out resulting in fewer tax dollars thereby further exacerbating the downward spiral. We need another Giuliani!

      • robert says:

        You should thank your local and citywide elected’s not to mention your appointed community leaders that force things like this to be decriminalized. Not mention the “instructions”, “suggestion” form the Mayor and his cronies to use a “soft or light touch” in dealing with certain communities.
        Part and parcel of this is shootings up 205 percent since NYPD was forced to disband its anti crime units Yesterday alone 41 people were shot in NYC 4 died. Still think the dept should back off? The 24 alone has 5 murders vs 1 last year. Burglary is up 45 percent and GLA is up over 60 percent Maybe we can get Rudy back

    3. jsv says:

      Dumb f***s were setting off firecrackers (which have no purpose other than to amuse someone with the intelligence of a rock) and fireworks all night on the UWS. If you start a fire, you should go to jail. I really don’t give a f about the details.

    4. MB/UWSer says:

      My gosh, I pray for healing of the four people injured in that fire, and others who may have been affected. Regardless of the cause, apartment fires are terrifying. The layers of the situations since the beginning of the year delivers tremendous anxiety depending on how people respond. I pray they get the necessary help they need during this time.

      What went on last night and into the hour of early dawn was atrocious and inhumane. The city needs to re-examine what has occurred. And, whoever had the fireworks took full advantage of such time. Within a couple of hours numerous M80s were set off in a tight surrounding area Amsterdam/W. 108 W. 110 (not to mention it was the common background noise from all over).

      The amount of fireworks entangled with loud booms was far from a celebration, and more of deep rooted agitation to and for all others. Last night was by no means a holiday.

      Is this what the night hours will now become – dark hours of extreme agitation and danger?

    5. GrumpyOldMan says:

      Can New York City endure 18 more months of DeBlahsio? Being liberal and woke does not mean tolerance for the increasing crime and lack of civility in the city.

      • jsv says:

        Username checks out here.

      • Evan Bando says:

        Is it really DeBlasio or is it the crybaby mentality of police departments around the country who seem to be saying through slacking, “If we can’t police like a military, kill unarmed citizens and expect to get off without accountability, if we can’t maintain the Blue Wall that makes all of us accomplices to police brutality, If we can’t do our job any way we want with impunity, then, we will not police at all.” It sure feels that way. In that case, it only seems fair they should find another line of work. The empty roll call will get filled eventually.

        • John says:

          Evan watch the movie thunder dome will be NYC in a few years. Hit the gym Evan, shoot gyms are not open guess you will have to move to a republican state to be safe. 🙂

        • UWSHebrew says:

          “crybaby mentality of police departments around the country” —- THERE ARE NO WORDS.

        • Abdul Sayeed says:

When I was a high school teacher and I was criticized by a student or a parent, I stopped teaching all my classes.
          When I collected garbage for a summer and was criticized by a homeowner because I left a few scraps of garbage on his property, I stopped collecting garbage for the whole neighborhood.
          But when I became a policeman and my fellow officers and I were criticized, I REALLY DID IT, I DID, I STOPPED POLICING – BECAUSE WE HAVE THE GUNS AND THE POWER AND THE UNION!

          Who do these people think they are to walk away from their jobs, their responsibilities, and their oaths?

          • Stu says:

            If that is the truth, it is no wonder you had so many jobs and careers. It is absolutely unprofessional and, frankly, childish, to stop working at your job because of a little criticism. If there is any “slowdown” in policing it is because an order to do so was handed down from above. The very large majority of cops want to do the best job they can within the rules and training they receive. If there is a problem it is with the rules and training — which is woefully inadequate.

        • Kat_77 says:

          Evan, it’s exactly because of people like you & Bill de Blasio with your toxic mindsets that our city has deteriorated & gone to hell in a hand basket.

    6. Kenneth says:

      They were aerial bombs being launched on W. 90th St. from on front of or in the new St Gregory playground across the street from the Wise Houses. It went on until at least 3 AM. It was only luck they were not more rooftops fires. They were 50 or 60 people congregated in the courtyard area watching the display.

      • BILL says:

        theyve been blowing those things off for years ,but this year is outta control….welcome to to the Upper Left Side

    7. Jerome36 says:

      Manhattan Avenue in the low100s had fireworks going off from dusk until 3am. No one in my apt could sleep until it stopped-it was that loud and continuous. There has to be a solution to it. Helen Rosenthal has been completely useless. I have stopped emailing her office because they are so feckless. The cops need to step up and get this stopped. Is this the newer equivalent of “broken windows?” That we let small things like fireworks go and it leads to more law breaking? I hope not, but it sure is starting to feel that way.

    8. Robert Davis Cohen says:

      I live in that building on the 12th floor over the fire. The fireworks have been going on for days. We are 6 blocks from the police station and there has been little to no police presence.

    9. Ira S says:

      Cry Baby mentality of the police? How can you be so naive. DeBlasio has the logic of a child and the courage of a mouse. How to prevent Police brutality and militant policing? Don’t police. Non enforcement of the fireworks laws is coming straight from the Mayor make no mistake.The city that I love, that we all love, is being handed over to the lawless because its easier than to have the courage to say no!

      • Dallas C. Galvin says:

        Ira, DeBlasio just backed an enormous “budget” for the police: 34,000 officers and $6 billion, with a “B”. Alongside that, the NYPD gets tremendous dark money from corporations and conservative orgs., like the Koch Bros, none of which is publicly declared. The NYC sum equals about $176,000 each, with early retirement, benefits, and the sworn responsibility “to protect the people.” A cursory review of police policy since Giuliani however shows their only allegiance is to their police union, Wall Street, and “their” pols. Before you criticize Evan, do your research

        • pete says:

          Do you have proof for any of your assertions? A lot of accusations and no substantiation.

        • Ira Schussheim says:

          Dallas,I’ll agree that the police union is strong and influential but it’s also no coincidence that fireworks laws are not enforced though they aways had been. Gun violence is up under this mayor, again, no coincidence. These are facts unlike some Koch Brother’s conspiracy. Who does the “Buck” stop with?

    10. geoff says:

      the reporter writes about a fire and about some kids on the street setting off fireworks. the two incidents may be related. why does the reporter not confirm the connection?

      i’m not jumping to any conclusions.

      the way it stands, the report is provocative, not informative.

      • BarryE says:

        It was 100% the same kids (well 20s) from a building on 95th btw Amsterdam and Columbus. They’ve been shooting them between 11pm and 3am for the last 3 weeks. They’ve hit other balconies and landed sparks on roofs in the last week. I was looking out the window just before this happened.

      • Mark P says:

        “provocative, not informative”

        You’re definitely describing the new “journalism” we get from sources like the NYTimes (which I now consider the Fox News of the Left).

        However, WSR is just reporting facts here – so, well done WSR! We don’t know that the fireworks caused the fire. Though it seems likely from the facts reported.

    11. RG says:

      What is our course of action, besides voting out the mayor in time? Right now, does anyone know with whom we speak about this? Is any one attending city council meetings? Is Helen Rosenthal a person to contact? Can we come together as a neighborhood to problem solve?

    12. MB says:

      The police and the precincts are not responding to complaints of fireworks. The same situation has been going for weeks in Chelsea where a friend lives.

    13. Well, I’m glad my phone call to Helen Rosenthal’s office bore so much fruit (NOT).

      Still awaiting a return call from her office… gee, I wonder who her competition might be in the next election?

    14. Anna Carroll says:

      The fireworks on my block began at 9:15PM and did not end until 3:15AM. Not firecrackers, those bunker buster bombs that shake the building and apt. windows. This goes on for weeks before the 4th. And, no, the Cops don’t touch them. Welcome to my world!

    15. Louisa says:

      A similar group was setting off fireworks at 100 and RSD to WEA!
      Terrorized our dog

    16. Naita Barrow says:

      I live across the street from 700 Colimbus ave and I also called police several times in one day but not much of a response….
      For the past three weeks till 4am in the morning you can hear fireworks so it’s been hard to even sleep…
      I feared for my life in my own home for the first time in my life..
      When I saw the fire on the terrace I knew something like that was eventually going to happen…
      Basically were just sitting ducks there isn’t much protection out there for us and some people are losing their minds with this Corona virus….
      Only God and Christ can help us niw….

    17. AC says:

      1970’s all over again . . . This Mayor and his progressive ideology has set us back 45 years. Say what you want, but Rudy was right on when he suggested “crack down on quality of life crimes, and your impeding future major crimes.”

    18. Doug says:

      Was not from firecrackers. The fire was inside and on patio of
      Apt. 9K only.

      • Alan Barnes says:

        As Pres. of the BoD of the co-op in question, I can state unequivocally that the fire was ignited on the affected terrace, but was caused by an external source — in my
        eyewitness view, undoubtedly a fireworks rocket launched from the street (most likely 95th st. at or barely west of Columbus Ave.. It was not caused by the resident of the apt., or any other resident of our bldg., nor of any other, nearby bldg.. &, yes, multiple calls to the local police pct. throughout the night, by me & other residents, yielded no action whatsoever, despite the fact that the precise, stationary location of the fireworks shooters was provided. The extremely & commendably rapid response of the FDNY, however (within 5 minutes), undoubtedly saved lives. & contrary to this report, there were no, actual injuries.

    19. It’s a shame. I personally walked to the police precinct on Sunday afternoon to ask why nothing was done on Saturday night to stop the fireworks. They started around 9:30 and didn’t stop until after 2. I was told “There’s nothing we can do.” What kind of response is that. I said I also heard the fire trucks and said it would be a shame if they were responding to a fire caused by the fireworks. You just proved me riggt.

    20. sg says:

      Wow, the ignorance of some people. For all you folks who are crying about police being tax payer funded, what do you say about the bad teachers who are never fired (rubber rooms)…bet you don’t mind those. The problem is public sector unions that prevent addressing its bad/underperforming members (Chauvin). Eliminate them and many problems go away…but that will never happen because they’re the Democratic party’s biggest contributors!

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        public employees are heroes and “Essential Workers”. but as soon as the crisis abates, you want to take away our unions and other protections.

      • Josh says:

        Teachers ARE fired. Rubber rooms existed because firing teachers requires due process, like any public employee, but when someone is accused you don’t want them in front of students. The long time in the rubber rooms was based on bureaucratic incompetence, not about the unions. The union pushed to speed the process, not prolong it. As a teacher, I know of multiple false accusations leveraged to “get back at a teacher.” Other agencies have the same thing, but have other administrative assignments available. It is a special circumstance for teachers which explains the rubber room.

    21. cma says:

      It’s time for a community leaders meeting with the precinct….via a Webinar with community leaders and everyone who can and wants to attend, and ask questions!!! IF police had responded when called multiple times before 2 a.m. (to 311 and local numbers – check the logs!) this fire and injuries could have been prevented. Why not call the fire department for those setting fireworks? ? ? In this neighborhood they are right next to each other on 100th street, they (police and fire dept.) could be coordinating responses!

    22. Neighbor says:

      Could a spark from the fireworks have come in the window of an apartment and caused the fire? A friend in another neighborhood said a spark from fireworks came in through her window.

    23. Leah says:

      That was the worst 4th ever, really not OK. I certainly hope there is a (reasonably handled) police presence next year to control all the illegal fireworks, or it will just drive me out of the city.

    24. Linda Greene says:

      Four people were not injured. Only one was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation just to be on safe side.
      The fire fighters and department were superb. Three companies responded. Bravo to them all. Resident of building.