A huge four-alarm blaze broke out today in the North River wastewater treatment plant on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The FDNY says the fire was first reported at 11:46 a.m. and was brought under control—thanks to 39 units and 168 firefighters—by 3 p.m. According to the DEP, which runs the treatment center, the fire started in an engine room. As the fire raged thousands of people were evacuated from the Riverbank State Park which sits on top of the plant.
"There was overwhelming black smoke," a Parks Department regional director told DNAinfo. "It was quite intense." Still despite the thick smoke (which caused several lanes of the Parkway to be closed temporarily as well) the entire building was evacuated safely. And only three firefighters sustained injuries in the blaze, all of them minor, according to the FDNY.
The DEP tells NY1 that the treatment center's water systems were taken offline as a precaution while the damage is assessed. The center serves all of upper Manhattan and has five to seven hours of storage capacity. If any water is found to be contaminated, it will be discarded into the Hudson.
So? Maybe today is not the best day to go and smell the flowers on the Hudson River...or in Brooklyn.