2005-02-10 / Other News

Fire Guts Headquarters Of Local Youth Fitness Program

By Charles Rogers

Derrick Dawson, manager of Generations, stands before gutted wreckage of building after Thursday morning’s fire.                      Charles RogersDerrick Dawson, manager of Generations, stands before gutted wreckage of building after Thursday morning’s fire. Charles Rogers Firefighters from Canarsie’s Engine Co. 257 and Ladder Co. 170 were called early last Thursday to help fight a smoky blaze at the headquarters of Generations Youth Fitness Center, 9211 Flatlands Avenue. Three firefighters were slightly hurt in the fire, and, according to Derrick Dawson, manager of the facility, there was considerable damage.

“We had just refurbished the place,” said Dawson, “and that includes putting in six new computers, which are ruined now.”

Firefighter Charles Mackey, Fire Department spokesman, said the all-hands fire began about 1:30 a.m. and was declared under control at 1:52 a.m. He noted that the three firefighters who were injured suffered smoke inhalation but were treated at the scene and not taken to the hospital. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although Mackey said it did not appear to be suspicious.

The facility manager said that, thanks to the kindness of officials at the Canarsie Library on Rockaway Parkway near Avenue J, members of the youth center would be able to temporarily use the library for meetings.

“They were kind enough to offer to help us for awhile,” Dawson said. “Now, we have to see just how much damage was done and what it will take to reopen as soon as we can. Otherwise, we’ll have to find a new place to make the center.”

Besides being a youth center, Generations reopened the facility last Thanksgiving as a party space for rental, featuring a large-screen TV, bar, and space enough for birthday parties and other social events.

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