A four-alarm fire broke out at Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn this morning, and although reports differ as to the blaze's source and precise location, media outlets and eyewitness accounts point to cars burning in the mall's parking complex.
I’m right by kings plaza and it’s literally on fire I hear explosions and stuff it’s insane pic.twitter.com/dstroxZdRF
— kells (@toofucknbad) September 17, 2018
— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) September 17, 2018
Parking garage at Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn has caught on fire, the FDNY says. No reported injuries. Cause of fire under investigation. pic.twitter.com/eS0EAPgH0b
— Nora Abramov (@NoraAbramov) September 17, 2018
An FDNY spokesperson confirmed that a fire had been reported at 5100 Kings Plaza around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, but could not say whether the fire originated in the parking garage. Initially, however, a tweet from the FDNY Alerts account acknowledged "multiple vehicles on fire on two [floors] in the parking garage."
Photos from witnesses show thick, dark smoke billowing from the mall's parking garage, and attest to audible "explosions" coming from the structure.
— Leadfly (@MyLeadFly) September 17, 2018
— Motty Brauner (@motty58) September 17, 2018
No injuries have been reported, and the FDNY emphasized that its investigation is ongoing: we will update this post as we learn more.
UPDATE: The FDNY confirms that "multiple vehicles on multiple floors" of mall's the four-story parking lot caused the fire, which has been upgraded to a seven-alarm fire requiring response from over 50 units comprising over 200 firefighters. The conflagration is now under control, but according to the FDNY, 21 people sustained non-life-threatening injuries: 18 firefighters and three civilians.
BKLYN 7-ALARM 5100 KINGS PLZ, MULTIPLE VEHICLES ON FIRE ON TWO FLRS IN THE PARKING GARAGE, UNDER CONTROL
— FDNYalerts (@FDNYAlerts) September 17, 2018
UPDATE: Twitter user @NuffSaidNY, a college student from Brooklyn, says he was waiting on the bus outside a nearby Mattress Firm around 9 a.m., when he saw "a gigantic smog of black smoke" erupt into the sky. "I was there the whole time," he said. "The traffic was backed up, so I just decided to record and take pics." He’s been sharing diligent and detailed updates all morning.
"I heard loud explosions like bombs going off," he tells Gothamist. "The commissioner says those noises may have been tires exploding. I honestly thought it was a terrorist attack."
At first, he noted, just a few firefighters showed up, but more and more arrived every 15-or-so minutes until they numbered in the hundreds: "I've never seen that many [firefighters] in my life."
UPDATE: Authorities suspect Monday’s car fires to have been the result of arson, and have obtained security footage of a suspect leaving the scene, the NY Post reports. As our tipster, @NuffSaidNY, pointed out on Twitter, some local car dealerships—including Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn—keep vehicles in the Kings Plaza parking garage. According to the Post, some of those Mercedes went up in flames this morning.
UPDATE: Police have released a photo of a "person of interest" in the investigation, who was captured on camera "in the vicinity of the location around the time of the incident." He is pictured wearing dark pants and dark shoes, with a white T-shirt slung over his shoulder.
(Courtesy of the NYPD)
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.