Update: Firefighter seriously injured in Bensonhurst fire

bensonhurst fire
A firefighter works to evacuate the attic during a two-alarm fire at 1962 85 Street.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A two-alarm blaze tore through a Bensonhurst home on Monday morning, sending at least one firefighter to the hospital with serious injuries. 

The inferno erupted on the first floor of 1962 85th St. between 19th and 20th avenues at 8:52 am before spreading to the second floor, sending a plume of smoke out of the third-story windows. 

bensonhurst fire
Six firefighters suffered injuries during a fire at an 85th Street building.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A total of 60 firefighters and first responders rushed to the scene, where the smoke eaters battled the blaze for more than an hour before getting it under control at around 10:25 am, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Though no residents or responders were hurt by the fire, one firefighter sustained serious injuries when an air conditioning unit fell from the burning building onto his head, a video shows. 

Though the AC unit cracked the firefighter’s helmet, the headgear ultimately saved his life, according to photos posted to Instagram by a firefighter group called Firefighter Proving Grounds, who added that the firefighter’s injuries “are extensive.” Paramedics rushed the victim to NYU Langone-Brooklyn in serious but stable condition, where he remained as of Tuesday afternoon, according to an FDNY spokesman. 

Five other firefighters sustained minor injuries and were transported to Lutheran for treatment. 

bensonhurst fireA firefighter is covered in soot after the 85th Street fire.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

More than seven people were displaced by the blaze. On Tuesday, a group of men who lived in one the apartments began a GoFundMe page to fund their recovery after the blaze destroyed all of their belongings.  

“While we were sleeping our apartment caught a fire where we lost everything we had, our cloths [sic], our e-bikes and all our personal belongings. This fire has left us with nothing,” wrote the men, who are all food delivery workers. “Without our bikes, we are unable to work, pay our rent and everything we need to start our lives again.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraised had raised $430. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, the FDNY spokesman said. 

The blaze came less than an hour after another large fire overtook the compactor chute of a public housing complex in Fort Greene’s Ingersoll Houses. That fire did not spread outside the chute, though it emitted black cloud of smoke whose odor spread as far as Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights, locals reported. 

Update [Jan. 26, 2021]: This article was updated to include new information about a firefighter who was seriously injured on the scene and the displaced residents. 

bensonhurst fire
The inferno sent plumes of spoke out the third-floor windows.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell