Six recent fires in Forest Hills suspicious: 112th Pct.

By Gabriel Rom

Judith Harrison, the commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park, said six of the seven fires to plague Forest Hills in recent weeks have been deemed suspicious.

“We are taking it very seriously,” Harrison said at a community council meeting Wednesday night.

According to police, the first fire in the recent upswing occurred Oct. 20 at the former Parkway Hospital, which has been vacant since 2008. Six fires have occurred since then.

On Tuesday morning, one person was critically injured and another was seriously hurt when a fire tore through a Forest Hills apartment, officials said.

The blaze started in a sixth-floor apartment at 106-15 Queens Blvd., near Jewel Avenue, at about 5:54 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

Both victims were taken to New York Hospital. About 106 firefighters helped bring the fire under control by 6:46 a.m., officials said.

The fire does not appear to be suspicious, but its cause is still under investigation, officials said.

Later Tuesday another blaze tore through a home that is under construction at 108-43 66th Ave., which is only seven blocks away from a fire that burned down a building under construction Nov. 8.

The fire was under control by late Tuesday, but arson investigators were still on scene Wednesday morning. No one was injured.

It was the second home under construction in the area to go up in flames in just the past 10 days.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Wednesday at an unrelated press conference that the department is currently investigating the recent spate of Forest Hills fires.

“It’s under investigation, and we’ll see,” he said. “I think they should be concerned until we finish their investigation to find out.”

“We’re aware of the recent rash of residential fires in #ForestHills,” Tweeted the 112th Precinct Tuesday night. “We’re coordinating with #FDNY and other investigative authorities.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.