‘Intense’ fire breaks out in Bath Beach apartment building

fire truck in bath beach
An all-hands fire tore through a Bath Beach building on April 21.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

An all-hands fire tore through a Bath Beach apartment building on Sunday night after a resident said she dropped a candle inside her apartment. 

The fire broke out on the second floor of a six-story building at 8714 21st Ave. just before 7:30 p.m., according to the New York City Fire Department. As firefighters arrived on the scene, residents fled the building holding personal items, clothes, and pets.

residents at bath beach fire
Residents were forced to evacuate the building. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A team of 60 firefighters quickly deployed two hose lines to battle the thick smoke and flames rolling out of the second floor, and brought the blaze under control shortly after 8 p.m. Two firefighters were injured during the incident, and were transported to the Maimonides Bay Ridge Emergency Department by ambulance.

“The firefighters were climbing the fire escape and fire was blowing over their heads,” one resident told Brooklyn Paper on the scene. “It was intense to watch.”

Another tenant, waiting on the street wrapped in a blanket, told a fire investigator she had dropped a candle in her apartment before the blaze began. The fire marshal’s office is still investigating the cause of the blaze. 

firefighters bath beacj
A fire left two apartments damaged Sunday night, April 21. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Records show that the building has racked up dozens of investigations with the city’s Department of Buildings and Department of Housing Preservation and Development. In 2021, a DOB inspector noted that the building’s facade was dangerously damaged in multiple places. The following year, the building’s owner was fined for failing to repair the facade — and the violations were still open as of April 22, 2024.

This year alone, HPD has issued violations for broken smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, roaches, mold, and a broken self-closing door. Residents have also complained of building-wide heat and hot water outages. 

The building is owned by Nicholas Van Buren, LLC, along with Christopher Vasilakos and two shareholders, Anastasios and Panagiota Vasilakos, per city records. Brooklyn Paper was not able to contact the LLC or the Vasilakos family.