FLATLANDS FIRE DESTROYS SEVEN STORES
In a spectacular fire involving more than 100 firefighters, at least seven stores on Flatbush Avenue at the intersection of Flatlands Avenue were almost completely destroyed early last Sunday, according to officials. Fire officials said, “miraculously,” there was only one person hurt during the 3-hour conflagration and that was a firefighter who was taken to the hospital with “minor” injuries.
The three-alarm fire began around 1 a.m. possibly in the Chinese restaurant on the block that includes a line of about seven stores between Lott Place and Flatlands Avenue, authorities said. Besides the restaurant, other stores that were destroyed included Mac’s Mens Store, a podiatrist’s office, a bagel store and a Chase Bank branch on the corner. A hardware store and grocery on the block were spared, to a degree, since their two stores were separated from the others by an interior fire wall. However, the owner of the hardware store told reporters his store, as well as the grocery store, suffered some water and residual damage.
The mens store, “Mac’s Supplies,” had been located in the Flatlands area for 88 years and some of the other stores had flourished there for decades, according to neighborhood residents. They said most of Brooklyn’s police, fire, EMT and other emergency service personnel got their uniforms there.
A Fire Department spokesman said the fire was declared under control at about 4:30 a.m.
The residents and merchants said the fire reminded them of the site — directly across the street — of a huge building collapse in 1997. Building residents were evacuated before the collapse and no one was hurt.