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A five-alarm fire at the abandoned Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse/Market is being fought this morning in dramatic fashion: News choppers show that the FDNY's marine units are at work - the warehouse occupie a 200' by 600' lot along the East River. (WNBC's Vivian Lee, on location, said the fire was making it feel like a 100 degree day even 50 yards away.) Last year, Tien visited the terminal market last year and found a description of it from the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Environmental Impact Study:

The Greenpoint Terminal Market site occupies over three blocks of land along the East River between Greenpoint Avenue and Oak Street. This site, which is largely vacant, includes six industrial buildings ranging in height from one to seven stories, several of which are severely deteriorated. Immediately south of the Greenpoint Terminal Market is a now vacant piece of land formerly occupied by Consolidated Freight, a national freight forwarding company that declared bankruptcy in August 2002.

Also, the U.S.S. Monitor was built there when Continental Ironworks was located there. The warehouse's vastness made it seem ripe for a conversion of some sort (commercial-residential, perhaps) - see pictures from Flickr of its cool skyways.

Can any of you on the East Side see the fire?

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UPDATE: We went over to check out the fire and can confirm that the fire was very, very hot from about two blocks away. It seemed like the FDNY was just trying to contain the fire in the current area and not let is spread to the surrounding buildings. We spoke to a couple people on the scene who were rather suspicious of the fire's origins. One person we spoke to, who has been inside before, said the interior is mainly wood, with lots of junk - including some antique fire fighting gear. As we were leaving the scene, parts of the southern wall were collapsing, shooting flames even higher into the air. It was easily the biggest fire we've ever seen.

Our full Flickr set from the fire. Additional photos on Flickr from Steph Goralnick and from from Randy Plemel.

Photograph on top left from WNBC; photograph on top right as well as updates from Tien Mao

UPDATE:here are a few more from GrubbyKid.

UPDATE: we also received reports of another fire at Kent and N7th, which is about ten blocks away, but it doesn't appear to be related. Latest news says it has been knocked down by firefighters.

UPDATE:: After a commenter left a note about developer Josh Guttman owning the Terminal Market, we took to finding out a little information. Guttman was the owner of a DUMBO property, which he transferred to a Limited Liability Company as 225 Water Street Associates LLC in 1995. A fire at that location in 2004 raised suspicions, which Guttman did not address when contacted by the Village Voice in 2004. Gothamist found that, like the properties on Water Street in DUMBO, the properties surrounding the area of the fire are not under Guttman's name for ownership. However, in a 2002 meeting in Greenpoint, Guttman expressed an interest in developing housing for the Greenpoint Terminal Market site. Additionally, we found that several of the buildings between West Street and the river (including the northwest and southwest corner of Noble and West) are already set up as LLC's with a common lawyer - Joseph Kosofsky of White Plains. Coincidentally, or not, a Joe K filed satisfaction of mortgage papers for the 255 Water St. property where Guttman was listed as the borrower.

Update: Firefighters are still working on putting out the now nine-alarm fire. The AP has an article with this tidbit:

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta called it the largest fire in the city in more than a decade, excluding the World Trade Center attack, and said the cause was suspicious.

NY1 says

there's a lumberyard and furniture company in the area.

Update: The fire has been burning for since 5:30AM, and ten hours later, it gets its tenth alarm.

Update: at 5:45pm, the fire is still going strong, and isn't under control. We biked down to Greenpoint, and West Street was completely blocked off-- the closest we could get was Franklin. The fire appeared to be concentrated mainly in the south building near Oak Street, and the ruins of that building were still smoldering. The northern buildings and skybridges are still standing, but it was impossible to tell how much those buildings were damaged. Lots of police and neighborhood people standing around talking about the fire.

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Afterwards, we biked back into Manhattan and took a picture from 16th Street and the FDR. Check it out:

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Mihow also went back and got some great neighborhood reaction shots, and a couple of pix of the sunset.