NEW YORK - A huge fire tore through a waterfront warehouse in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning that the NYPD uses as an auto pound and storage for DNA evidence from crime scenes.
At least eight people — three firefighters, three EMS workers, and two civilians — suffered minor injuries, officials said.
The Erie Basin Auto Pound warehouse is located on Columbia St. in Red Hook. The NYPD said that a vehicle somehow caught on fire and the flames spread.
The fire destroyed decades of biological evidence and vehicles involved in old crimes, a source told FOX 5 News.
At least three fireboats were pouring water onto the building. Flames were coming out of the roof and smoke was visible for miles. The smoke blew south towards the Sunset Park neighborhood.
The first call came into the FDNY just after 10:30 a.m. FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said the fire burned for many hours.
The fire went to three alarms with 33 units and 140 firefighters at the scene.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) sent a team to help in the investigation.
The facility had been running on generators since losing power during Superstorm Sandy more than a decade ago, a source said. Contractors have been converting the facility back to on-site electric power but nothing points to that being a cause of the fire. Also, the building's sprinkler system wasn't working, FOX 5 NY has learned.