Sheepshead Bay residents report sporadic mail delivery, pickup since post office fire

Post Office 19th Street
Following a fire at the Sheepshead Bay Post office, PO box holders were directed to an annex on E. 19th Street, but when they arrived, they discovered their mail was not being held there.
Photo by Josephine Galbraith

Sheepshead Bay residents and post office box holders are still struggling to obtain their mail since the building housing their local post office caught fire nearly two weeks ago.

A spokesperson for the United States Postal Service previously told Brooklyn Paper that post office box holders from the Sheepshead Bay Post Office on E. 18th Street could pick up their mail at the carrier annex a block away — but readers reported arriving at the site to discover signage stating the contrary.

“They are not accepting the mail or PO Box mail. Big signs on the door,” said area resident Josephine Galbraith in an email. “Have no idea where the PO Box mail is and no idea who to contact.”

Employees at the 2370 E. 19th Street annex allegedly told Galbraith they’d never received her mail and suggested she visit the fire-damaged mail emporium, which Galbraith found closed with no signs providing further information. 

“Went back to Sheepshead Bay and it was shut down. No PO Box information on the door,” said Galbraith. “It is really disgraceful that there isn’t even a sign in the window letting us know where to go.”

In addition, Brooklynites residing in the 11235 zip code told Brooklyn Paper that regular mail delivery has been inconsistent since the fire, which has led to the loss of time-sensitive documents, like tax forms and bills.

Another resident said he hadn’t received any mail on Feb. 12, 13, 16, 17 or 21 — and he is able to see just what he is not getting based on the USPS’s Informed Delivery email service, which sends registrants scanned images of the mail they should expect.

“I am missing many pieces of mail including checks and 1099 tax forms,” the resident said in an email.

Other locals said they’re still waiting on the release of their mail still inside the post office, as well as additional information pertaining to the pick-up of mail delivered to post office boxes.

Right now, no one from the post office has given us notice nor do they know when the PO Box mail will be open,” said Michael von Ahnen. “Some of us are expecting our tax checks among other important mail that we need to respond to.”

The confusion comes nearly two weeks after the second floor of the E. 18th Street building burst into flames early Feb. 12. Though the blaze was quickly subdued, damage caused to the post office halted deliveries for at least a day.

And while no mail was harmed during the fire, USPS spokesperson Amy Gibbs could not say definitively when parcels inside the damaged building would be delivered.

As of Feb. 23, Gibbs said post office box holders can pick up their mail in the back of the Sheepshead Bay Post office. Mail pick-up is available on weekdays from 11 am through 4 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.

Gibbs did not address locals’ complaints, nor did she say when the post office would reopen again fully.