Wildfire in Gerritsen Beach

Wildfire in Gerritsen Beach
Community News Group / Vanessa Ogle

The fire department is investigating a mysterious brush fire that erupted in a field in Gerritsen Beach on March 29.

It took 60 firefighters nearly a half an hour to extinguish the wildfire that sent massive black smoke clouds drifting over Gerritsen Avenue near Lois Avenue at 4 pm.

The fire department said it hasn’t identified the cause yet, but one witness speculated that troubled teenagers were to blame for the blaze.

“I hear that a lot of the kids they go back there and smoke,” said Kathy Cavanaugh, who moved to Gerritsen Beach about a month ago.

Local youngsters have caused chaos in the neighborhood before. In 2010, dozens of teens terrorized the area by throwing rocks, eggs, and chunks of bricks at a senior citizen in a callous neighborhood tradition of Halloween troublemaking.

Cavanaugh said she has heard stories from longtime locals who have witnessed the teens’ destructive behavior on Gerritsen Avenue — and she is worried.

“My girlfriend said she was here one time and they burned cars back there,” she said. “I am concerned about that.”

No one was injured in the blaze, according to the FDNY.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.