A blistering fire ripped through Bay Ridge Volvo on Fourth Avenue near 89th Street as residents throughout the nabe dreamed about their Christmas holiday.
Fire officials said that the blaze erupted inside the dealership — a neighborhood staple for over 40 years — at about 12:55 a.m. on December 24. The fire was put out within a half hour. No injuries, firefighter or civilian, were reported.
The smoke was so heavy at times that stunned witnesses “couldn’t even see the car dealership.”
“The smoke was really thick,” said one witness.
“The inside of the showroom was totally destroyed,” said Bay Ridge Volvo owner Rob Sabbagh, who was impressed with the fire department’s quick response. “[The FDNY] were on top of it one, two, three.”
Sabbagh said Monday that the extent of the damage was still unclear. The fire was sparked by an electrical problem.
“We have to gauge how many cars were damaged,” said Sabbagh. “Most of the inventory was unaffected.
“It’s still a fresh tragedy, but we plan to rebuild,” he explained. “We’re going to start as soon as possible.”
Steps have already been taken, he said. Over the weekend, any undamaged vehicles were moved over to a vacant showroom across the street from Bay Ridge Volvo, where the vehicles will be sold for the foreseeable future. When Bay Ridge Volvo employees showed up for work, they were immediately directed to the new location, said Sabbagh, who added that the service department was unaffected.