NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A luxury Manhattan apartment owned by an ‘A’ list Hollywood star went from classy to crispy Friday afternoon following a raging fire.
The fifth-floor residence at 88 Central Park West owned by Robert De Niro is now uninhabitable. Smoke and then water flowed out of the laundry room of the unit earlier in the day.
The actor and his family were not home, according to his representative. Neighbors told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin that they are in shock.
“I’m very surprised. What’s the likelihood of it being Robert De Niro’s apartment?” asked neighbor Carolyn Hopgood.
The star of “Taxi Driver” and numerous other movie classics reportedly paid $23 million for the 15-room pad.
De Niro is lucky next door neighbor Nathan Bear was outside looking up and saw flames.
“My car was parked right in front of the opening in between the two buildings. I’m a neighbor and I saw 12 to 15 foot flames coming out the window,” Bear said. “I immediately decided to call 911, went back in the house and I was on the phone with them for a couple minutes getting them through to here.”
The 11-floor building was evacuated for several hours as fire fighters crammed into the only staircase that could get them to the unit. Fire officials believe the flames started from a dryer in the apartment.
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