By Daniel Katzive
The FDNY quickly extinguished a fire at the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) facility on Pier 99 at the foot of West 59th Street Saturday morning. The fire occurred on a barge docked inside the shed that occupies the pier. According to the FDNY, two workers at the facility were transported to Mount Sinai West (Roosevelt) hospital with minor injuries.
DSNY’s 59th Street Marine Transfer Station is used for loading paper for recycling from sanitation trucks into large open barges. The barges are brought by tugboat to a Pratt Industries recycling plant on the west shore of Staten Island, along the Arthur Kill, and made into cardboard boxes and other products. The West Side Rag wrote about the pier back in 2021.
DSNY Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Joshua Goodman confirmed there was a small fire at the facility and indicated that a total of five employees are reporting minor injuries. Once the FDNY has given the all-clear, the affected barge will be towed to Staten Island for an investigation to determine the cause.
This is not the first time a barge has experienced a fire at Pier 99. In December 2021, a seemingly more serious fire resulted in four injuries. A February 2022 article in Politico attributed that 2021 fire to a lithium battery which somehow wound up mixed in with the paper “creating a tinderbox”.