NBC New York reports 150 members of the fire department were called to respond to the blaze, which was elevated to a three-alarm fire within 30 minutes. Located in an area known as the Erie Basin Auto Pound, the warehouse contained seized vehicles and biological evidence from cold cases, dating back 30 years, according to the New York Times.
“We expect the NYPD and district attorneys to provide us a full accounting of the evidence that was damaged and to immediately inform defense counsel about individual cases that may have been impacted,” Legal Aid Society spokesperson Redmond Haskins said.
Fire Department Chief John Hodges confirmed in a news conference that everything inside the facility has either been damaged or lost. Hodges warns the fire could “go on [for] a few days.”
Workers reported the fire to the NYPD when they noticed a growing flame on a storage shelf. Firefighters tried to control the blaze from inside the facility, but quickly evacuated due to the intensity of the flames and a “large amounts of combustibles.” Emergency officials were unable to get an adequate amount of water into the building to control the fire because of its limited number of doors and windows.
According to NBC New York, a portion of the warehouse that housed hundreds of e-bikes collapsed as a result of the burning sustained by the structure.
Three firefighters, three EMS workers, and two civilians were transported to a nearby hospital to address minor injuries.