Fire Guts 67 Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights

BHB newshound BP sent in this photo of a fire at on Cranberry, between Henry and Hicks streets. No further details as of yet. Says BP: “I think that’s the one that’s under construction..” Update: this has been confirmed, it’s 67 Cranberry, which was undergoing a gut renovation. According to neighborhood photojournalist Marc “weegee” Hermann, it was a two-alarm fire, accidentally started by contractors in the building. Firefighters from Engine 205 said people were banging on the firehouse door to report it:

Fire on Cranberry

Fire on Cranberry. Click on photo for full size.

Update: This from Andrew:

All I know is that I was told by the 84th Precinct that there is a
fire at 67 Cranberry Street. I heard a LOT of fire engines, starting
at about 9:15am.

And Gothamist‘s Jake Dobkin sent us this photo:

Update 2: Benjamin Hoffman sent us this set of photos of the fire:

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  • beth

    I knew I could count on you to tell me why there were so many fire trucks parked outside my house! Hope everyone is ok. I saw several ambulances arrive but none take anyone away, so hope the house was vacant.

  • karen

    i think it was totally vacant – it’s been under renovation for months and all you could ever see were wires and construction types

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Karl

    Went over for a look and the building is totally destroyed inside. Major renovation needed now. So much hard work wasted. To repair the damage created by this fire will be very expensive.

    A real shame. I was counting on this building along with the corner of Cranberry and Henry. 20 Henry and the construction on Orange to further beautify the northern part of the Heights.


  • weegee

    Wait ’til the insurance-collection fires of the ’70s come back into vogue.

  • my2cents

    It’s such a shame that months of hard work were lost, but it is consoling that no one lost their possessions and their home in this fire. I hope the neighbors weren’t affected by the smoke. It looked pretty bad when I walked by earlier.

  • AEB

    I, too, had a look and was grateful that more damage hadn’t been done.

    Having lived through a building fire–it’s not fun–I find that, to my horror, I’ve become something of a scene-of-the-fire visitor. Trying to come to terms with something? Maybe.

    In any case, good that no one was hurt.

  • J. Morello

    Terrible, I heard about the fire from my parents who live in the house right next door. Good thing no one got hurt.

  • slyone

    Wow — I rented an apartment in that house for a couple of years (from the prior owner, who was there from 1969 until it was sold after his death in 2007). It was quirky, with plenty of things that anyone spending close to 3 million would want to fix up, but the prior owner took great pleasure in maintaining all the old features of the house, and it had a lot of character. I was interested to watch (from the street as an occasional passer-by) the renovations over the past several months . . . I assume they were working with much of the original stuff; in any event it makes me sad to think of all those old wood floors and doors destroyed.

    But as everyone says, it is good no one was hurt.

  • my2cents

    slyone- I don’t know if this makes you feel any better or worse, but I think those old wood floors were long gone before the fire. Perhaps they salvaged them and reinstalled, but I can tell you I have been watching the reno for a while and all the floors were completely removed, and I am talking COMPLETELY as in they ripped out everything but the outer walls and put in new metal metal beams and stuff. So inside it was essentially a brand new building. any way you slice it, it definitely is a shame though..

  • anon

    anyone know who the contractor is? don’t they need to be held accountable?

  • my2cents

    I am sure that on a job this big the contractor would have had insurance for this sort of thing. Otherwise…bad news.

  • Mike

    Karl, what construction on Orange are you referring to?

  • anon

    that’s all fine and good that they would have insurance but you would think this should have been prevented all together. and we’re lucky no one got hurt..that could have been even worse. I would want to know who the contractor is because if I were looking for a contractor, this would tell me a lot about their thoroughness…

  • anon

    Metropolitan is the name of the constructions company. I looked it up on the Building site. There are at least one doz permits filed for the last year. There are also a number of violations for different reasons….

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    They are a fine company who have done plenty of excellent work in the neighborhood — accidents happen, and that’s all this was. Apparently some equipment malfunctioned so this was not avoidable…. Don’t jump to conclusions without all the facts.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


    I’m an idiot. I meant Pineapple where the old Mexican Restaurant was.

  • slyone

    my2cents — interesting; strange to me that new owners would take everything out; lots of history there that I would think someone would like to keep, but maybe (as you say) they were salvaging and reinstaling. If so, I hope they hadn’t yet reinstalled.

  • A Brooklyn Heights Resident

    I’m going to have to be careful that I don’t say too much here — not because anyone did anything wrong but because it’s just not my place to state too many of the facts definitively.

    I know quite a bit because the contractor renovating my place was also renovating this place — it was one of several gut renovations he has underway (he usually has 3 going at once — each in different stages.)

    1. The contractor — who was NOT Metropolitan — is an EXCELLENT contractor. He’s been doing almost exclusively gut renovations in Brooklyn Heights for at least 6 years (maybe 10?) and usually has at least 1 house on the annual House tour. One sign of how good he is? Many of his customers are repeat customers. Another sign? A year+ into the process I still think he’s great and have not a single disagreement or quibble with him. How man people can say that about their contractor?

    2. The fire was started (I was told) by a sub-contractor’s tool that malfunctioned.

    3. The contractor runs an extremely professional, clean, safe environment. Obviously I don’t know the situation at that house, but at mine there are fire extinguishers on every floor, a first aid kit plainly located, no smoking signs all over. And for the record, in a year of going by the site almost daily, I’ve never once seen anyone smoking.

    4. Why couldn’t they put out the fire? Again, it’s not my place to say too much but from the way it was described to me, not only would it have been impossible to put out the fire, they’re lucky to have gotten out alive.

    5. In my unofficial opinion, the fire spread more quickly than might be typical because 1) there was no sheetrock/plaster at all, and 2) the nature of the way the tool malfunctioned was about the most horrible way any tool could possible malfunction.

    A Local