Eagle: Was Joralemon Garbage Fire Arson?

As mentioned by “E”, GHB and Weegee in yesterday’s Open Thread Wednesday, a small garbage fire raged and annoyed residents of Joralemon Street on Tuesday night. Today, the Brooklyn Eagle speculates that the blaze was not spontaneous combustion but rather an act of arson. A group of “young men and women” were seen fleeing the scene in an SUV according to reporter Ryan Thompson.

Brooklyn Eagle: Arson…: Though it appeared as though the rubbish fire in front of 107 Joralemon St. was quite possibly lit by the people who seemingly fled in the SUV, that fact has not been confirmed. Neither the police nor fire department could confirm that the fire was an act of arson, either. But at midnight, it seems unlikely that the flames spontaneously combusted within the garbage.

Fire, Fire, Fire on my brain [Paper Skies]

Photo: Paper Skies

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  • http://paperskies.com e

    I’d add “freaked out” to the list of verbs. There’s no way a damp garbage pile spontaneously combusted.

    So: does a random act of arson scare you more than a targeted one? It sure does to me!

  • Ethan

    I wonder if its the same people that smashed in the window of B’nai Avraham this morning.

  • Weegee

    A little bit of perspective…this thing was smoldering for a long time before it lit up. I live almost a full block away and could smell it for at least five minutes before I actually saw it light up. It was strong enough to lead me to believe that it was close outside my window; I looked out and saw nothing. Only after an interval did I look again to see it starting to take off.

    The loud people getting out of a car did so on the corner, and after the flames were already getting some height.

    Honestly, if this thing were intentionally set, it would have been in the free-burn stage a lot sooner, not nursed like a science project and allowed to smolder until complete combustion could happen. Also, malicious rubbish fires usually aren’t isolated — you’ll get one on every block as the firebugs go about their way. I remember one particular instance years ago in the projects where I responded with the fire department to a call of a trash fire, and passed two others on the way to the first one.

    The tosser of the careless cigarette or the disposer of a slightly warm charcoal briquet is probably long gone before the embers meet the oxygen and the fire tetrahedron is complete. Having seen and photographed the results of accidentally and purposefully set fires for 11 years, it’s my considered opinion that the Great Fire of ’08 is really nothing to be concerned about.

  • Steve-o

    By the way, charcoal that gets wet – when in sufficient volume – can spontaneously combust. So the fact that it was wet does not necessarily preclude combustion, “e”, it may in fact be a cause… if charcoal was for some reason in the garbage.

  • Barbie Queue

    Yes, shocking that in summer, people might throw wet charcoal in the garbage.