Western Brooklyn

71st Street Mystery: Bombed Out Car Rots On Quiet Bensonhurst Block [Updated]

Car exploded on 71st Street.
Car exploded on 71st Street.

[Update below]

A burned out car has been languishing on a quiet residential 71st Street block for over a week, but police say little information is available yet about the car’s owner or the cause for the explosion.

We were able to confirm with the FDNY that fire units responded to a car blaze in front of 2113 71st Street, near 21st Avenue, on August 7 at 5am. The fire was extinguished and fire marshals were notified.

A “derelict vehicle” complaint was filed with 311 by a neighbor on August 8, records show, but as of Monday, August 15, the decimated red car is still parked in front of the home and the investigation is still ongoing, according to police and fire officials.

The abandoned vehicle reeks of smoke, the doors have been flung open, and the street is still littered with black ash and glass.

A resident who lives in a neighboring home just shrugged when we asked whose car it was. Authorities say there were no injuries.

(Photo by Rachel SIlberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)
(Photo by Rachel SIlberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)

Know anything about how this car caught fire? Did it spontaneously combust? Send tips and conspiracy theories to editor@bensonhurstbean.com.

Update [August 18, 10am]: We have been informed that our article caught the attention of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs on Twitter, which looked into the 311 complaints and contacted the NYPD and DSNY to have the car removed.

According to a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, both agencies responded immediately. Since there were plates on the vehicle, the NYPD had to investigate. Once the plates were removed, the Sanitation Department took over, and as of Wednesday, August 17, the vehicle was gone.

(Photo by Rachel SIlberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)
(Photo by Rachel SIlberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)
Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean
Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean
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  1. Hey, as long as they keep moving it for alternate side parking there’s not much the city can do.

  2. Insurance Fraud. If there was spontaneous combustion there would be more damage from the electric areas near the trunk or hood. This fire started in the cabin, most likely some fire and bounty paper towels would do the trick. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen one of these

  3. I thought the same, but if it was insurance fraud, wouldn’t they be able to ID the owner? I could see removing the plates, and reporting it as stolen, but the VIN would be there someplace. The police shouldn’t be having trouble finding the owner if the owner was trying to get money out of an insurance company.

  4. 100% they will know who the owner is by looking up VIN (if its registered), prob at a body shop waiting to get the answer. These things aren’t taken care of overnight. Also, keep in mind, things like plates are usually removed to make it look like a legit job, because you can easily take off another car’s plates and joyride on those to avoid suspicion for a short term.

  5. It’s a bit confusing. The article says the fire took place on 8/7, but the car is still on the street as of 8/15, so it’s not at the body shop. It also says “police say little information is available yet about the car’s owner”, so, unless the police are being circumspect, it seems a long time to have failed to trace an owner who may be committing insurance fraud. Can’t commit fraud if you aren’t reachable to collect. It’s a strange situation all around.

  6. If not insurance fraud, then one of 3 things:

    1. Stolen and joyridden
    2. Revenge
    3. Complete accident (I would believe this in a less shadier neighborhood than Bensonhurst is)

  7. 1 or 2 works for me.

    Bensonhurst? Shady? Not until all those new saplings they planted have a few more years of growth on them. 🙂

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