Probe continues into four-alarm Brooklyn fire on New Year’s Eve

Firefighters in front of flames at Brooklyn fire
Firefighters fought a four alarm fire at 881 Schenck Ave. in East New York on Sunday night, Dec. 31, 2023.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Hours before the end of 2023, firefighters in Brooklyn battled a four-alarm fire at a construction site on Sunday night.

FDNY units responded to the scene of the blaze that ignited at about 7 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2023 at a construction site located at 881 Schenck Ave. in East New York, which extended to a pair of buildings on the nearby Wortman Houses NYCHA public housing complex. 

While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, fire marshals removed a box of fireworks from inside the premises. One local resident said they saw individuals playing with the pyrotechnics, which are illegal in New York City.

A firefighter scales a ladder to reach flames at a Brooklyn apartment fire on Dec. 31, 2023.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Firefighters fought a four alarm fire at 881 Scheck Avenue on Sunday night

“I saw kids playing with the fireworks as I was walking my grandkids,” said the resident, Tony Robertson. “I don’t know what to do. This is truly remarkable.”

Flames swept through six apartments, prompting more than 130 FDNY members to respond to the blaze. Firefighters used eight hose lines and a tower ladder to knock the bulk of the fire down.

Miraculous, no fatalities were reported at the scene. Seven people were reportedly injured.

A fire marshal holds a box of fireworks recovered from the fire scene.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell