Smoky Fire at IPN Last Night

A fire with heavy smoke on the 39th fifth floor of 310 Greenwich, part of the Independence Plaza North complex, caused five people to be taken to the hospital (none were injured seriously). “Henry Steimler said he and a group tried to get out of the building from the 23rd floor through the fire escape, but were met by an impassable cloud of thick black smoke at the ninth floor and had to find another exit,” reported NBC. The cause is under investigation. The fire was in a hallway, and Deputy Fire Chief Richard Howe pointed out to the the Tribeca Trib that “Usually you don’t have fire in hallways.”

Top photo courtesy rsalimath (Instagram), bottom photos courtesy theLATER_now and annatevini (both on Twitter), respectively.

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  1. The fire was on the 5th floor, I live on the 4th. According to the fireman who came to my apartment, there was quite a bit of damage to the 5th floor, and lots of smoke throughout the building. Luckily, we were spared the smoke damage, it goes up, not down! Lots of water on our floor though.

  2. Hallways can have fires as other places, and the biggest threat is debris left there. I recently saw piles (in the tonnage) of old carpeting in the exit hallway of a residential building. Someone called the FD and I suspect the building got fined.

  3. Most of our fire doors don’t shut automatically and people using them don’t shut them expecting them to do so automatically. As far as I know they have not been inspected by the NYFD or by maintenance for ages. That’s why smoke spreads to other floors. This should not happen.

  4. We had a fire in our apartment when we lived there (2012) as well. It started from faulty wiring in a closet light fixture. The main fire alarms in the hallway were disconnected and I had to go down to the front desk to tell them we had a fire. Luckily it was mostly contained to a few rooms. I’m still shocked that the fire alarms were disconnected.

  5. We had an electrical fire in our 310 Greenwich apt a few years ago. The fire alarms on the floor were disabled (pulling them did nothing).

  6. Fire and smoke alarms were working on the fifth floor last night. There was no trash in the hall – based upon what we saw and heard in the hallway right after the alarm went off this does appear to a fire that was set – not faulty wiring or anything like that, there were boxed set on fire. Many residents of the fifth floor were unable to get out – we were outside on our balcony to get away from the smoke. Very scary…

    • Scary indeed! I’m assuming you meant “boxes set on fire”

    • i live on 21 and i’n the first to bitch about management here but this was not their fault. the fire alarms all worked. security walks the stairwells every night and close any open fire doors. the garbage rooms are cleared daily. some jerk piled up boxes in the hallway and then someone lit them on fire. accident or not, who knows?

      • I also am a resident. The fire doors should be heavy enough and rigged so they automatically shut like most other high-rise buildings- security should do a walk to verify none are propped open but not because they have to mannually shut most if not all of them.

        Also- has anyone heard about clean up efforts? We have a ton of smoke damage in our hallway (as most floors will) and in our apartment. Management has not returned my call today but the gentleman I spoke with at 12pm did not even know there was a fire in the building (I would think the call center would be prepped for that). The vents need to be cleaned for air quality and the carpets in the halls at the bare minimum asap.

        • Not sure what is going on with the other floors – they were on the fifth all day today – tore up carpets, walls, etc.

        • I also called the management company today to ask about clean up of hallways and elevators because they are in bad shape. The person who answered had no idea there had been a fire and no interest in helping to assist. It’s really unbelievable.

          • Alarms on the 34th floor did not go off during the fire itself, at least not for the first 30-45 minutes. They have since been beeping for two days straight with no sign of them turning off. It honestly sounds like a carbon monoxide alarm. There is still smoke in the stairwells. I actually ran through the smoke in the stairwell from 34 down to 1. When I came out the stairwells via service entrance (there are NO signs telling you where to go) the cops looked at me like I had ten heads and had no idea there were exits that led anywhere besides the lobby. I had to stop on floor ~7-9 and tell firemen where other residents were located in the stairwell who were struggling. Rather than give me any assistance when I exited the building they asked me to clean myself off (with what?) because the ash and smoke had turned my face and shirt black and “we don’t want people to be frightened.” Sure, because running through at least 12 flights of stairs that were more smoke than air was a calming experience. I guess I reached a zen state somewhere near the 5th floor. I’ve put in a maintenance request notifying them that I will alert the FDNY if it’s not resolved.

  7. Alarms were fine on my floor, 23.
    Somebody knocked at our door without tell us a clear message ( stay or evacuate ).
    We made it till 15th, went back up to 17th and that was it. If Mr. E wouldn’t let us in I wouldn’t be writing this lines.
    Emergency exits were the smoke chimneys.

    About the building …
    Emergency doors are not always close.
    Security does walk throughs on a daily basis.
    People smoke pot in the emergency exit.
    Majority of tenants are not familiar about the security in the building or about NY law-regulation about it ( every country is different and the building gathers different nationalities ).
    If there is an arsonist we have to be prepared an get a walk through the building to know where are the emergency exits and where are they ending up.
    We have to be inform by Stellar about what really happen and what are they doing in order to solve it.
    On my floor we have 2 units of fans to purify the air ( or they place them randomly or my floor is really bad )
    Everyone works hard to get back to normal, but Stellar didn’t communicate to us yet. They should.

  8. Has anyone received a call back or update from stellar management yet? We have made multiple calls and they are non responsive. There has still been no communication from them to the residents.

  9. Stellar Management finally gave us an information letter dated August 15.

    • Acinom can you please share what it says? I don’t think residents in the other 2 buildings were given the letter