On the afternoon of February 26, 1999, I got a call from Jack. He told me to turn on NY1. They were broadcasting live from the plant, which had been ablaze for several hours. Jack and I soon arrived on the scene just in time to see what was left of the building succumb to intense flames.
What follows is a report from that evening, found on FDNewYork.com.
Field Comm made it back to quarters in Downtown Brooklyn
shortly before 1400 hours. But alas, the Devil has no mercy
for the weary. The rig didn't get a chance to cool before
Staten Island transmitted a second alarm at 1402 hours for a
fire in a vacant Sedutto's Ice Cream factory.
The 2 story 200 x 200 building at 1983 Richmond Terrace is
located in the Port Richmond section. The scene of past
greater alarm fires, the first due units were familiar with
the building. Ladder 79, however, was about to get a quick
reminder about how conditions change rapidly.
Since the building was vacant an exterior attack was used.
Ladder 79 was set up on the Heberton Avenue side of the
building when with little to no notice the wall collapsed in
front of them. On the way down, the wall took down 2
Consolidated Edison power lines and draped them over 79's
With the rig energized the 2 fire fighters in the bucket
were stranded. (They were uninjured.) While frantic calls to
Con Ed were being made the fire loomed on in front of them.
A third alarm was transmitted 15 minutes later. Eventually
it took 5 tower ladders and 3 multiversals to quell the Red
Numerous relocations had to be made as Staten Island quickly
depleted it's own resources. Brooklyn and Manhattan units
were sent to fill the vacant firehouses. Brooklyn, already
stretched for companies due to their second alarm, sent
units that are usually relocated "into" like E290 in East
New York, and L123 in Crown Heights.
Field Comm made it back to quarters at 1800 hours. They'll
sleep good tonight.
Supv. Dispatcher, FDNY