NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lightning strike is apparently to blame for a fire in Brooklyn that forced the evacuation of 71 apartments on Friday, the FDNY said.
It happened around 1 a.m. at a building on Rockaway Parkway in the Brownsville section of the borough. The fire started on the sixth floor and then quickly spread to about six apartments.
City officials said residents are expected to be out of their homes for at least two days.
“It’s very disturbing, very overwhelming,” one resident said. “Right now, I have a 14-month-old baby, he’s in the car with my husband, and we have nothing whatsoever.”
By late afternoon Friday officials allowed some residents to go into their homes to see what was left, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported.
While the fire didn’t spread to all of the homes, most have significant water damage.
The Red Cross is providing shelter for those in need at P.S. 219.
“I feel lucky,” one resident told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller. “My mother is safe. My whole family is safe.”
The FDNY said that fire marshals determined that a lighting strike sparked the fire.
But residents said earlier Friday that they believed the fire was caused by faulty wiring. They said there was electrical fire at the building two weeks ago.
“The lights have been blinking in my apartment, the whole building,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.
“Keep flicking in and out, flicking in and out,” another resident said. “I don’t know if this fire was electrical, but trust me, it has something to do with the electrical.”
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: