Fire Rips Through Heart of Flushing
by Shane Miller
Nov 06, 2008 | 876 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mabel Law
Mabel Law
Flushing_Fire_Recovery
Flushing_Fire_Recovery

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An early morning blaze last week in Downtown Flushing destroyed two buildings and displaced several businesses.

The structures at 136-13 and 136-15 Roosevelt Avenue caught fire around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and by the weekend the buildings were already demolished as an emergency precaution.

It took over 100 firefighters to bring the blaze under control. At one point a roof collapsed, further hampering their efforts.

It is unclear what sparked the blaze, and on Monday a representative of the Fire Department said that the blaze was still under investigation.

Water used to extinguish the fire flooded the nearby 7 train station, forcing the closure of one of three tracks for the morning commute. Service was fully restored by the evening rush hour.

Several businesses were affected by the fire, and on Thursday morning some owners were trying to recover what they could from the wreckage while a large backhoe shoveled debris into waiting trucks.

At the same time, Councilman John Liu and Mabel Law, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, urged affected businesses to take advantage of several programs offered by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) that can provide temporary financial assistance.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt as a result of this devastating fire,” said Liu as demolition crews worked behind him to clear the structures. “However, this is a total loss to so many people who havea worked hard for the small businesses and we will do everything possible to help them get back on their feet.”

SBS was scheduled to meet with business owner this week. Law said that the BID’s Emergency Response Unit would be reaching out to business owners to inform them of the available help.

“We want to ensure our businesses will obtain all the information and assistance required to regain their vitality,” she said.

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