On Thursday, fire officials discovered the cause of the fire that destroyed the NYPD evidence warehouse in Brooklyn late last year.
Fire marshals found that the three-alarm Columbia Street fire on December 13—which sent massive clouds of black smoke billowing over Red Hook—was caused by an electrical rupture in a conduit leading to an exit sign. On that particular day, more than 100 firefighters spent many hours at the scene at the Erie Basin Auto Pound.
There were reportedly twenty persons inside the warehouse when the fire broke out, including both NYPD employees and independent contractors. Eight individuals in total were injured, including three firefighters, three EMS personnel, and two bystanders.
According to the NYPD, the fire destroyed an untold amount of "biological evidence," including DNA from earlier crimes like shootings and burglaries, some of which dated back 20 or 30 years. However, there were no rape kits kept at that location. The fact that the evidence was connected to cold cases and was kept in cardboard barrels may have fanned the flame.
NYPD's Files And Information Including Officers And Criminal Records Were In The Warehouse
There were vehicles connected to prominent police killings kept there, including the squad car Officer Ed Byrne was assassinated in back in 1988 and the mobile unit where Officer Miosotis Familia was killed in 2017. There were also indications of Sandy's property. The cost of the damage was not calculated.
The NYPD keeps automobiles that have been impounded for offenses other than parking violations in a number of different lots, including Erie Basin. According to the city, they could involve the owner of the car being arrested, as well as on forensic or legal grounds.
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