Fire rips through Coney Island business, injuring four first responders

Firefighters work to move hose lines into position while operating on a four-alarm fire at Bargain Land in Coney Island.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A roaring fire inside a Mermaid Avenue business sent a plume of smoke across Coney Island on Monday morning.

A four-alarm blaze broke out above Bargain Land at 2811 Mermaid Ave. just before 6 am on July 26. First responders had trouble locating the source, but found heavy smoke pouring out of the rear of the two-story, brick commercial building that officials said also houses an after-school program.

A firefighter works to ventilate the Mermaid Avenue business’ windows for trapped smoke.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Heavy clutter in the store made it difficult to reach the fire, fire officials on the scene said, and while smoke eaters breached a wall to gain access to the blaze, units worked several hoses on the first floor, roof and setback area to tame the flames.

It took more than 150 firefighters three hours to bring the inferno under control, while also battling temperatures in the high 80s. At least four firefighters suffered injuries as a result of the blaze.

Units work through plumes of smoke.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

In a statement on social media, area Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus said the fire broke out inside the newly leased office space for the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s cure violence program Operation H.O.O.D. (Helping Our Own Develop). The space was previously used by South Brooklyn Youth Consortium and Graffiti Ministries, Frontus said.

“Really horrible news on Coney Island this morning,” the pol wrote in a post. “The brand new office space for Operation HOOD of JCCGCI sustained a major fire. Thankfully nobody was inside at the time although some firemen sustained minor injuries battling the blaze.”

“I have asked Rabbi Weiner to keep my office updated as the investigation gets underway,” Frontus added.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the FDNY Fire Marshal’s Office.

Update (11:15 am): This story has been updated with additional information about the building where the fire broke out, and a statement from local Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus.