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Posts Tagged ‘FDNY’

Sinking Barge at Steeplechase Pier,

Sinking Barge at Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island. April 13, 2013. Photo © Jim McDonnell

This morning at approximately 8:23 AM, the FDNY’s Marine 6 responded to a report of a sinking barge at Coney Island’s Steeplechase Pier. NYC Fire Wire reported “All hands going to work for a sinking Barge with occupants trapped. Marine 9 rescued 2 at this time.” The barge has a crane with a 500 gallon fuel tank on it and the end of the pier was said to be in danger of collapse. Photographer Jim McDonnell was on the beach and captured the scene in these photos. Containment booms were put in place to protect against an oil spill. When more information and photos are available, we’ll post an update.

Bruce Handy photographed the barge and crane last night and said it was already tilting. The equipment had been at the end of the pier for the past few days for repairs of the Sandy-damaged pier. “The main diagonal beam that was raising the floor has been removed. Looks like they are stripping everything and will redo all the wood,” he said.

It’s exactly one month since workers began repairing the pier. On March 14th, ATZ first reported the repairs underway. In an email to ATZ, Meghan Lalor of the Parks Department Press Office wrote: “The entire Steeplechase Pier is being reconstructed. We expect to complete construction by July 4.”

UPDATE April 14, 2013

Today’s Photo Update: Sunken Barge at Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island

UPDATE April 24, 2013

The post-Sandy reconstruction of Steeplechase Pier is back up to speed after a construction barge sank on April 13: “Photo Album: Coney Island April 2013 Construction Update”, ATZ, April 24, 2013

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island

FDNY Marine 6 on the scene at sinking barge, Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island. April 13, 2013. Photo © Jim McDonnell

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

August 10, 2012: Steeplechase Plaza Under Construction in Coney Island

August 24, 2010: Video: Coney Island Pier Divers by Kevin C Downs

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fire truck insignia

Coney Island Funny Face insignia on Ladder Company 161 Fire Truck. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The fire trucks of Ladder Company 161 in Coney Island have a modern version of Steeplechase Park’s Funny Face and amusement rides as part of their insignia. Their slogan is “The Best Ride in Coney Island.” Now the ladder company, which opened in 1927 and is as old as the Cyclone roller coaster, is on the Mayor’s list of 20 New York City fire companies to be closed in July due to City budget cuts.

On Sunday, June 12, at 12 noon, City Councilman Domenic Recchia, Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny will join members of the community at a rally to save Ladder Company 161. The rally is being held outside the firehouse at 2929 West 8th Street off Surf Avenue.

Ever since the first Steeplechase Park burned down in 1907, Coney Island’s infamous fires have been in the headlines. Last May, the fire that destroyed Coney Island Arcade at Bowery and West 12th Street was the no. 1 story of “Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010.” . The arcade was a total loss and has since been demolished, but it was the only building damaged by the fire thanks to the fine work and fast response time of FDNY 161 and 153.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the fire that destroyed Dreamland Park. On May 27, 1911, the signal ‘TWO NINES’ was sounded for the first time in Brooklyn, calling out 33 companies and 250 men in a race to Coney Island.

“It’s tragic and ironic that the city is cutting a vital Coney Island ladder company on the 100th anniversary of the Dreamland fire, one of the worst disasters to strike a community known for deadly fires,” said historian Charles Denson. “Ladder Company 161 is essential to a neighborhood that’s jammed full of high-rises, has 15 million visitors a year, and has towering amusement rides that can only be reached by high ladders in an emergency.”

Upcoming rallies throughout the city are listed on the website of the Uniformed Firefighters of Greater New York.

Update, June 12th, 8:40 pm…

Coney Island photographer and resident Bruce Handy attended today’s rally and sent this link to his flickr slide show. All of the local pols were there. In addition to Councilman Recchia and Congessman Nadler, we noticed State Senator Diane Savino, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and several members of Community Board 13.

Update, June 14th…

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that “Ladder Co. 161 is the only tower ladder in Coney Island and one of only a dozen 95-foot ladders citywide. It is responsible for 2.5 miles of beach, businesses and a major concentration of high-rises, many of which house seniors in an isolated area.”

Update, June 29th…

DNAinfo reports “The City Council voted in favor of a $66 billion budget deal Wednesday that saves teachers’ jobs and prevents fire company closures, but forces other cuts across the board.”

dreamland fire

The 100th Anniversary of the Dreamland Fire. Coney Island History Project Exhibition Center. Photo © Charles Denson Archive


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Firefighters sawing into Coney Island Arcade thru the shutters to access fire.  Photo © Adam Richman via twitpic

Firefighters sawing into Coney Island Arcade thru the shutters to access fire. Photo © Adam Richman via twitpic

On the Coney Island Message Board and twitter, witnesses who live in the neighborhood began reporting a two-alarm fire at the Coney Island Arcade Building at West 12th Street and Bowery last night at 8:15 pm. The anonymous contributor who sent us the photo below said there were 7 fire trucks. The cause of the fire is unknown, but the FDNY scanner transcript reads: “20:42 hours – Duration 37 minutes. FieldCom: Transmit a 10-41 code 2 (Suspicious Fire, Vacant Structure), heavy volume of fire on arrival.”

The Coney Island Arcade and adjoining games are operated by Manny Cohen, who was attending an amusement expo in China. We’re greatly concerned about the damage to the building and his arcade business. One observer of the fire speculated: “The building structure is destroyed. They will need to build a new building there.”

We’re also concerned about the fate of the Coney Island Arcade’s beloved cats, Target and Targeretty, who live in the arcade. We frequently take photos of Target the Cat. Has anyone seen him or his sister? People on the scene informed the firefighters about the cats. We’re told that one of the cats was seen escaping from the building. (UPDATE: We just learned the sad news that Target’s sister Targette aka Targeretty died in the fire.)

On the Coney Island USA Message Board, the poster Coney Island Kid wrote: “I noticed the fire engines at approx. 8:15PM. looking toward W 12th St, I saw flames coming from the roof of the arcade at W 12th and the Bowery. Earlier today I saw workmen on the roof of that building applying a new layer of tar paper. The fire, from what I could see started inside, not on the roof.”

Coney Island Arcade, May 2, 2010. Photo © Jim McDonnell. Jimvid via smugmug

Photo taken a few days before the fire: Coney Island Arcade. May 2, 2010. Photo © Jim McDonnell. Jimvid via smugmug

On twitter, Adam Richman (mfbucket) reported “Firefighters sawing into coney island arcade thru the shutters to access” and “Smoke so thick u can’t see to the corner.” Photographer Bruce Handy told us by phone that the FDNY used a circular saw or acetylene torch to cut through the metal shutters. “The fire was stubborn because it was between the roof and the ceiling,” he said. “The firefighters had to cut open the roof to get at the fire.”

The firefighters also cut through the windows of the former Bank of Coney Island, which is next door to the arcade. But people on the scene said the arcade building was the only building damaged by the fire thanks to the fine work and fast response time of FDNY 161 and 153! The Coney Island Arcade Building is owned by Jeff Persily. Thor Equities owns the Bank of Coney Island Building, which is under threat of demolition.


Photo by Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

Related posts on ATZ…

April 29, 2011: Burned Coney Arcade Building Finally Being Demolished

April 13, 2011: Coney Island Arcade Debuts Cobra, Braves Loss of Arcade

May 7, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Arcade Fire’s Awful Aftermath

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

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