Sunday, February 14, 2010

Unhappy Valentine's Day in Jackson Heights


From Eyewitness News:

Firefighters are back on the scene Sunday after a row of stores in Queens was destroyed in a major fire.

Firefighters returned to put out some hotspots that sprang up overnight. They continue to monitor the scene in case of any others.

The row of mom-and-pop stores stayed in business for decades. The inferno wiped them out in mere minutes.

More than a dozen small businesses are now gone, including a barbershop, a furniture store, a shoe maker.

Shopkeepers were forced to abandon their businesses, their livelihoods now little more than burned out shells.

"He came, he pulled me by the neck, he said, 'Get the hell out of here, there's a fire!'" Tom's Shoe Repair owner Thomas Kourakos said. "Within 10 seconds, the whole shop was full of smoke."

The flames were so intense that rescuers evacuated 100 people from the apartment building next door as nearly 300 firefighters battled the blaze. But there was nothing they could do to save the row of stores, which withstood the passage of time, but could not survive this.

"It's devastating," Jackson Heights resident Kate Schaffer said. "These businesses have been here for a long time. The area is changing rapidly. And to see something devastated not by developers, but by fire is more troubling."

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a little J. Lightning for St. Valentines day.

Anonymous said...

Devastated not by developers ?
I wouldn't be to sure about that.
Illegals living in the attic or a cleverly rigged electrical device.
I bet one landlord owns all them property's.

Anonymous said...

seniors will remember a similar fire scene over twenty-five years ago. the location was in Flushing,at Sanford Avenue/Main Street,west side,a block burnt northbound.

store owners were devastated. new developers probably smiled ?

Anonymous said...

"It's devastating," Jackson Heights resident Kate Schaffer said. "These businesses have been here for a long time. The area is changing rapidly. And to see something devastated not by developers, but by fire is more troubling."

The developers are probably the ones who lit the match! Just wait and see!

Anonymous said...

Such cynicism... I expect everything to be rebuilt on the same one story scale as before.

Anonymous said...

Poor Shlomo. He worked so hard on those buildings. And they say after that last cash out re-fi he wasn't even making money on them. And now this. The whole block of buildings burn completely to the ground on a Saturday morning. The poor man must be devastated. Thank goodness he had so much insurance.

Queens Crapper said...

Shlomo? This was owned by WENZHOU N.Y. REALTY LLC according to DOB records.

Anonymous said...

The real owner is Betty White. All of her buildings burn down mysteriously.

That's why they call her minnesota lightning.

georgetheatheist said...

I passed these stores about two weeks ago on the way to the health food store across the street. This is the way NYC was years and years ago. Individual shopkeepers who knew the citizens by name.

Tempus fugit...by cracky.

Anonymous said...

Could Whenzou be one of Tommy Huang's relatives?

Remember the Continental Fruit Market arson fires in Flushing?

The Great Eastern Bank was built upon its ashes.

That was the bank that John Liu's father Joseph Liu was convicted of robbing!

As most already know...Mr. Comptroller is Tommy Huang's cousin.

Maybe Taiwanese/Chinese lightning is replacing the more traditional. Jewish lightning.

Anonymous said...

RU kidding...does anyone in his (or her) right mind think those burned out one story "taxpayers" will be replaced by the same?

They'll be rebuilt multi-story after the insurance money is collected by the landlord!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully some nice ethnic stores are built in their place, and maybe a mosque too.

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stinky said...

What is the final determination of the cause of the fire itself? Is it electrical or fire started in a take out store?

Anonymous said...

I can't remember exactly, but there was an official determination. It was something like a faulty boiler.