A massive fire at a New York Police Department facility in the Red Hook neighborhood has caused the warehouse building to collapse.
To make matters worse, this specific compound was one of N.Y.P.D.’s Evidence Centers, which held seized vehicles as well as DNA evidence from cold cases.
According to officials, it is unknown at this time how many pending criminal cases would be affected by the fire, which had still been burning late into the afternoon and may not be contained for days.
At a news conference, fire chief John Hodges explained how everything inside the building had been entirely destroyed or severely damaged.
Over three helicopters, 33 fire units, and 140 firefighters were working to control the fire, which was originally reported by Police Department contractors working inside the auto pound.
Chief Hodgens revealed that three firefighters, three emergency medical technicians as well as two civilians were taken to the hospital for injuries suffered as a result of the flames.
Unfortunately, the fire could not be contained from inside, as “large amounts of combustibles” in the building caused the fire to rage out of control, as stated by Chief Hodgens.
Not to mention the fact that the building had little to no windows or doors that the water could touch.
Prior to the fire, the facility held vehicles, e-bikes and illegal motorbikes that had been seized during investigations.
Additionally, biological evidence dating as far back as 30 years from unsolved burglaries and possible murders were housed in the building.
Spokesman for the Legal Aid Society, Redmond Haskins, stated “We expect the N.Y.P.D. and district attorneys to provide us a full accounting of the evidence that was damaged and to immediately inform defense counsel about individual cases that may have been impacted.”