Firefighters battle five-alarm blaze at Cobble Hill fitness center

boerum hill fitness center fire
At least two hundred firefighters are battling a five-alarm fire at a Cobble Hill fitness center as of Monday afternoon.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Firefighters battled a massive fire at a Cobble Hill fitness center, that left at least a dozen people injured as of early Monday afternoon.

The blaze, which broke out at 98 Boerum Place around 10:30 am on March 14, quickly grew to a five-alarm inferno. The fire was placed under control approximately three hours later at 1:20 pm.

boerum hill fitness center fire
At least 200 firefighters work to contain a five-alarm fire at a fitness center in Cobble Hill. Nine firefighters and three civilian have been reported to be injured at the scene. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The two-story building at the corner of Boerum Place and Pacific Street is currently home to a UFC Fit on the first floor, with the second floor designated to residential apartments. The gym, formerly a New York Sports Club, opened just eight weeks ago, according to social media posts.

Video posted online by the New York City Fire Department showed firefighters climbing to the roof of an adjacent building while smoke poured from the second-story windows of the fitness center. 

As of noon, what appeared to be a tennis or other sports “bubble,” or covering, on the roof had collapsed.

Firefighters work to subdue a five-alarm blaze at a newly-opened fitness center in Cobble Hill on Monday afternoon.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Twelve injuries — three civilians and nine firefighters — were reported, none of which were considered life threatening. Everyone inside the building was safely and successfully evacuated, according to local Councilmember Lincoln Restler.

The civilians were treated on scene and the first responders were transferred to area hospitals for treatment, according to Acting Chief of Department John Hodgens, who said the fire started somewhere on the second floor before quickly spreading.

“This was a very labor-intensive fire where the roof was used for some type of tennis court with a foam insulation” Hodgens told media at the scene, “and once that starts burning, it’s difficult to extinguish.”

Units also lost water pressure early on in the battle, the acting chief said, making it all the more difficult for firefighters to knock down the fire.

The building was first built in 2003, according to property records.

Sections of Boerum Place and Atlantic Avenue are closed to traffic to accommodate firefighting operations. The city’s emergency alert system advised people nearby to close their windows, try to avoid the smoke while outside, and expect traffic delays.

UFC Fit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation by city fire marshals. Residents of the second floor units are unable to access their homes at this time.

Additional reporting by Kirstyn Brendlen and Lloyd Mitchell