Spark ignites flames in basement of Bayside home

By Kelsey Durham

Four people escaped injury Monday morning after an electrical spark caused a fire to break out in the basement of a Bayside home, the FDNY said.

Firefighters arrived at a home on 41st Avenue at the corner of 210th Street, at 10 a.m., just a few minutes after receiving a call about smoke and flames in the basement of the two-family residence. Firefighters worked for about 25 minutes before the fire was under control, according to the FDNY.

A fire official at the scene said the fire most likely broke out after a natural gas leak was ignited by an electrical spark. Most of the damage was contained to the basement where the transformer box was located, but the Fire Department said the first floor suffered some smoke damage.

Jason Diamond, who lives with his son on the main floor of the house, said he was in the kitchen when he started hearing popping noises coming from under the stairs that lead to the basement, where the gas and power switches are located.

“I went down and looked and saw flames,” he said. “I grabbed my son, yelled ‘Fire’ and called the Fire Department.”

The building’s two upstairs tenants were also home at the time of the fire, but both were able to escape after hearing Diamond yell for them to get out of the house.

Diamond also said one of his neighbors is a firefighter who was home when the flames broke out and ran to help him and the other tenants when he heard what was happening. Diamond said the neighbor came inside and closed all the doors and windows in order to keep the flames contained to the basement.

The Fire Department said none of the four residents needed medical attention as a result of the fire. The extent of the damage was not yet known, the FDNY said.

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurham@cnglocal.com.

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