Updated 4/30/12 at 1:47 p.m. to include comment from Con Edison on origin of fire.
‘Jet Black Smoke’ Filled Sky Over Brooklyn
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DUMBO — A fire at the Con Edison substation in DUMBO / Vinegar Hill sent thick plumes of black smoke into the sky at roughly 5:19 p.m. Sunday afternoon. FDNY and the Hazmat Battalion were called to John and Bridge streets to battle the flames.
Residents of DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights said they heard a loud explosion just seconds before flames and smoke poured from the plant. Henry Street resident Beverly Closs told the Brooklyn Eagle, “I was out relaxing on my balcony when I heard a loud explosion. I jumped up and saw jet-black smoke billowing up into the sky.” Ms. Closs said she then called inside to her husband Bill, “Come quick, you have to see this!”
FDNY reported that the flames were extinguished by 6:38 p.m.
Chris Olert, a spokemsan for Con Edison, told the Eagle that Sunday's blaze originated in one of the substation's reactors, which transfer voltage. The energy company has not yet determined the cause of the fire, according to Olert.
An earlier fire erupted in the outdoor transformer field at the same substation last September.
As previously reported in the Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s leadership has discussed the possibility of expanding into part or all of the Con Ed site, which will eventually close. One plan would feature an apartment tower, tide pool and sculpted lawn on three-acres on John Street between Adams and Jay streets.