Squadron Holds Summit Following Fire at Tribeca Telecom Building

Daniel L. Squadron

June 11, 2010

A fire last month in a hardware store at 60 Hudson Street reignited concern among some neighbors over the risks posed by 80,000 gallons of diesel fuel stored in the building.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron last week brought together officials from various city agencies, representatives of the building's owners and several residents to talk about the threat, if any, the fire posed to the building and the neighborhood. Sixty Hudson Street, the former Western Union Building, has long been the target of complaints by neighbors over generator noise and the storage of large amounts of diesel fuel.

"In our mind there was no risk, where the fire was in the hardware store, to have any effect on the building proper," Division 1 Fire Chief John Bley said.

The May 18 fire could not have spread to the main building, Bley said, because the wall between the store and the building has a "three-hour rating"—it would take three hours for the fire to burn through the wall.

Fire officials said the flames were extinguished less than 30 minutes after the call was received.

Assistant Fire Marshall John Lynn said the fire ignited in electrical equipment in the store, an Ace Hardware that fronts onto West Broadway.

"It did create a lot of smoke," Lynn said, "but it was a small, contained fire caused accidentally."

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