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Total Destruction

Vacant Brooklyn Factory Fire Hits Seven Alarms

Firefighters dispatched from three boroughs needed 16 hours to contain a seven-alarm inferno which destroyed a vacant factory in Cypress Hills on Monday afternoon, July 23, and produced a thick, black plume of smoke that could be seen from miles away.

A seven-alarm fire destroyed the former Blue Ridge Farms food processing center in Cypress Hills on Monday afternoon, July 23. Responding FDNY units battled intense smoke and flames for 16 hours to bring the inferno-which was declared suspicious by Fire Department marshals-under control.

According to FDNY sources, the blaze ignited at around 3:30 p.m. Monday at the former Blue Ridge Farms food processing center, which encompasses an entire city block bounded by Atlantic Avenue, Fulton Street, Euclid Avenue and Chestnut Street. Reportedly, the facility had been vacant for several years.

Thirty firefighters were treated for minor injuries while battling the blaze, authorities said.

Sources stated that the blaze- which was labeled suspicious and is under investigation by FDNY marshals- ignited in one of several interconnected buildings of the former Blue Ridge site located on the Fulton Street side of the property.

Heavy black smoke which emanated from the seven-alarm fire in Cypress Hills on Monday, July 23, could be seen by residents across much of Brooklyn and Queens, and caused service disruptions on the nearby J/Z subway line.

Reportedly, the fire quickly intensified and grew throughout the entire vacant complex. Fire Department units responding to the scene immediately dispatched a second-alarm for additional resources.

As the fire raged, additional engine and ladder companies from across Brooklyn, Queens and even Manhattan rushed to the Cypress Hills location. Over 75 FDNY units participated in the response to the incident, sources stated.

Heavy flames and smoke quickly caused the partial collapse of the structures on the site, Fire Department sources reported.

Unable to gain access into the complex, it was noted, firefighters poured water with the use of hose lines, tower ladders and deck guns set up on the streets surrounding the facility.

The inferno eventually grew into a seven-alarm tempest, billowing dark smoke that could be seen-and even smelled-from Ridgewood, Glendale and as far north as Astoria, according to reports.

Subway service on the J/Z line was suspended for several hours between Broadway Junction and Jamaica

Center due to the heavy smoke produced by the fire, it was reported. Portions of Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street were also closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and onlookers were ordered to move three blocks away from the fire, FDNY sources said.

The inferno was brought under control by the FDNY at around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, July 24. According to FDNY sources, units remained at the scene to find and extinguish hot spots in the rubble. As noted, the investigation is ongoing.

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