Firefighters responded to a blaze that broke out in an Upper West Side apartment building yesterday afternoon. While they were able to put it out in an hour, the firefighters ended up tossing the apartment's belongings out the windows, because the home was apparently dangerously overstuffed with items. WABC 7 explained, "All of the things served as tinder for the apartment fire."
The fire occurred in a third floor apartment building at 640 West End Avenue, at the corner of West 91st Street, around 3 p.m. NBC New York's news chopper caught incredible footage of the FDNY clearing the apartment after the fire was extinguished:
A neighbor said, "It almost looked like they were shooting a movie... Never-ending stuff just coming out there and coming out." The items included clothing (which stuck to vines outside the building facade), pill bottles and furniture.
The apartment's residents, according to WABC 7, are "two older men... one, who is was blind. The other apparently with other challenges." Another set of neighbors told NBC New York they had been worried about the hoarding in the apartment, "It's a disaster. It was a bad situation waiting to happen."
Building workers had to clear the sidewalks of the debris. The FDNY refers to situations like this as "Collyers' Mansion." From the NY Times, "The phrase, as many New York history buffs know, refers to the legendary booby-trapped brownstone in Harlem in which the brothers Homer and Langley Collyer were found dead in 1947 amid more than 100 tons of stockpiled possessions, including stacks of phone books, newspapers, tin cans, clocks and a fake two-headed baby in formaldehyde."