Angelica Florio

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Travis American


At 193 Wyckoff Ave., a rooftop fire started sometime before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7. Firefighters arrived promptly while the fire spread to the roofs of the eastward adjacent buildings, 195 Wyckoff Ave. and 197 Wyckoff Ave. — the apartments above the restaurant, Sally Roots. Police on the scene told Bushwick Daily that it was likely an electrical fire, and tenants are vacating the apartments, many of which are now flooded.

NYPD’s Officer Duke said that “a lot of people were at work” during the fire, and nobody was hurt. Duke estimated that the tenants were evacuated for an hour to an hour-and-a-half. After that, some tenants of the top floors returned to their apartments to pack up their belongings.

The Red Cross is organizing housing in hotels in both Brooklyn and Queens, and one disaster relief worker said that it could take weeks until the residents of 193 Wyckoff Avenue can return to their homes. While standing on the street, you could see a large hole in the rooftop near the front of the building through the open door. Soot lined the entryway and water from the firefighters’ hoses could be heard dripping from the roof.

For the other buildings, where the damage is less serious, the Housing Department did not give notice to tenants that they must vacate, and a resident of 195 Wyckoff named Jun said he was told that it would take five days to “air everything out, dry it out, and fix it.” He said that he thinks that is “probably possible,” and that he was told that his damaged items would be replaced.

One tenant of the apartments, not 193 Wyckoff Ave., named Yshua Monroy, recalled being at home when the fire started. “I was in the kitchen, I was eating cereal with my mom and it sounded like… water flowing, and she was like ‘What is that?’… I just kept eating cereal, and then she was like ‘No, I should go check.’” Monroy’s mother called the fire department, and they evacuated the building. “I wasn’t scared because I saw it and it was just a little bit, but you know fires spread and sh*t you know?” Monroy said.

Another neighbor named Shelby, who lives above Sally Roots, said that her apartment wasn’t damaged. “Our apartment just smells like smoke, we got very lucky.” Then she added, “I opened all of my windows, we’re airing it out right now.” Other Bushwick residents didn’t get so lucky, and many stood waiting outside to find out where they would be able to stay while waiting for repairs on Tuesday afternoon.

A sign that read “Sally Roots is closed due to building issues” was taped to the restaurant’s door.

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