A 3-alarm fire at a police evidence compound in New York City Tuesday left at least eight people injured, including six first responders, officials said.
A plume of smoke was seen over the NYPD Evidence control and impound warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where Fire Chief John Hodgens said FDNY would be working for days to extinguish the flame.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Hodgens said FDNY responded to the fire call at the evidence warehouse, located at 700 Columbia St., at about 10:37 a.m. but were unable to swiftly extinguish it.
“This fire is likely going to go on for a few days by the time we are able to fully extinguish it,” Hodgens predicted. He also said the facility housed “a lot of combustible material.”
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NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said the compound housed “mainly evidence” and “a lot of biological material,” including DNA and evidence collected from “past crimes.”
“The evidence goes back a long time, 20 or 30 years,” he said.
He also said the warehouse where the fire started included a number of motor vehicles and electronic bikes. “We do not know the severity of the damage inside,” he said Tuesday afternoon.
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He said the fire was initially reported by a contractor working inside a warehouse.
“We do not know exactly what happened,” Maddrey reiterated.
Firefighters battled the blaze and initially attempted an “interior fire attack” but were unsuccessful in extinguishing the flame as it was too voluminous for their efforts, Hodgens said.
The firefighters were “overwhelmed” and switched to an exterior attack, he said.
As of Tuesday evening, three NYPD and three FDNY, as well as two civilians, were injured in the blaze. Their injuries were minor, Hodgens said.
Hodgens also said the FDNY was assisted by three fire boats, that were pouring water on the fire. They were also utilizing drones in the air to pinpoint where the water should best be applied, he said.
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Approximately 150 personnel with NYPD and FDNY were on the scene Tuesday afternoon. Their efforts continued into the night.
NYC council member Alexa Avilés later confirmed the injuries and urged residents to remain cautious of the ongoing recovery efforts.
“District 38 residents: you may see a black plume of some coming from Red Hook. Please be aware,” Avilés tweeted Tuesday. “[Six] first responders and 2 civilians were injured.”
In an update posted several hours later, she added: “It may take days to fully extinguish the fire and [the] cause is still under investigation.”
A section of the warehouse later collapsed.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
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