Southern Brooklyn

BREAKING: Two-Alarm Fire At Lundy’s Building On Emmons Ave



Fire broke out at the historic Lundy’s Building (1901 Emmons Avenue) just before 9:30 a.m., drawing a heavy response from the FDNY and leaving one firefighter with a minor injury.

The fire was brought under control after more than an hour of battling the blaze, which appeared to be smoldering on the second floor and in the ventilation shafts along the roof. To accommodate the heavy response, which included FDNY units from as far away as Red Hook, Emmons Avenue was closed to traffic between East 19th Street and East 21st Street, and Ocean Avenue was closed from Emmons Avenue to Shore Parkway north of the Belt Highway.

The FDNY will investigate the cause of the fire, but the preliminary theory is that it was caused by grease in the kitchen of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, and spread into the kitchen’s air vents which carried it through the building. Flames were visible erupting from the roof of the building.

“I’m not sure when I’ll be back in my office. We don’t know anything yet,” said Dr. Preston Schaffer, a dentist whose office abuts the second-floor kitchen of Cherry Hill. “Thank god the building was built 100 years ago, with all concrete walls.”

Firefighters shattered the windows of his personal office as well as the windows of the market’s kitchen. The responders were also seen along the roof, tearing holes to look down into the building and cutting open the ventilation ducts to extinguish the fire.

One of the first firefighters on scene was left with a minor injury to his back, but is expected to recover. The building was evacuated, and there have been no other injuries.

Electricity and gas to the building were turned off.

As of 11:20 a.m., a large presence remains on the scene, although some units have departed. The public does not yet have access to the building.

Here’s some video we took, that should give you an idea of the size of the response:


Photos from our readers:





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Photo by Nick Rosen, Big Apple Sewers

Original story with from-the-scene updates below:

Firefighter are responding to a two-alarm fire that has broken out at the Lundy’s Building, 1901 Emmons Avenue, on the second floor.

We were first tipped off by reader Nick Rosen, owner of Big Apple Plumbing, who sent us the above photo at 9:30 a.m.

According to scanner reports published by NYFD Fire Wire on Facebook, the fire broke out on the second floor and has spread to the cockloft.

UPDATE (10:04 a.m.): There is a heavy response at the scene and one firefighter is already being treated for what appears to be smoke inhalation issues. It also appears that they are raking the roof for ventilation and it appears to be along the entire length of the building.

UPDATE (10:15 a.m.): The smoke is filling Emmons Avenue fairly thickly. Even though the fire is on the upper floors, it is coming out the front doors of Cherry Hill. Firefighters are cutting into the ducts from the roof which appears to be spreading the smoke around the building. It appears that the fire might be in the ducts.

UPDATE (10:50 a.m.): Emmons Avenue and Ocean Avenue are now closed to traffic. Power has now been cut to the building and National Grid is present, presumably to turn the gas off. Smoke is still coming out of the building but it is less than before. Previously, we reported that a firefighter was possibly being treated for smoke inhalation issues. We have since learned that he suffered minor back injury.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Comment policy


  1. Guess the business model is no longer viable.
    Cant pay the J1’s $5 an hour any longer, have to pay at least $7.25+ to the OTB’s that managed to sneak their way into the country permanently, and know better.

    Hence the fire! 😉

  2. thats so rude and not funny. I have a friend who works there and she isn’t a j1 so stfu and where the fuck did u get the idea they snuck in to the country u dumbass

  3. Jim is dead on, Walter. Maybe not for your friend, but for most people especially around here. As long as no one got hurt, this fire does not upset me too much. Lundy’s site is a landmark and should be used for anything else.

  4. so when it was a restaurant,it was, but high end supermarket it is not?
    or it is still a matter of ownership? You guys are unable to sleep at night knowing that it is owned by a guy from former Soviet Union.

  5. I just went to the new MOMO on Monday for my birthday. I was so excited and happy because the new decor was amazing, the food was better than ever and the hibachi show was a lot more fun. Four days they are opened. FOUR days before this!!

  6. I agree with Verochka! U all hate us because during the time we r here most of us were able to build a better life for ourselves then most of you people who were actually born here. The building wasn’t being used it was abandoned and now this business created more revenue for the local economy. What’s so bad about that?

  7. Any cash based business tries to pay as little as they can in taxes, as a matter of fact — ANY business tries to pay the least amount possible. Look up if GE pays their fair share, you will find that they don’t pay any taxes at all. And your beloved Obamacare kills benefits for countless people also, bet you don’t say much about that either.

  8. I love all the perturbed comments from the Russians, towards my Anti-Russian diatribe . I happen to be an OTB, have shopped at Cherry hill (albeit rarely), and am fully aware of all the shenanagans of “my” community.
    As I’m sure you are as well Walter.

  9. It’s impossible to live in a cockloft. It’s just a small space between the roof and the second floor ceiling . The hibachi place closed down after sandy and never opened . Just some crappy Turkish and Russian stores were left but luckily than were just on fire. Hopefully some Americans will take it back over and turn it back into the great restaurant it once was.

  10. Condone what illegal activities? Unless you are referring to something specific and have facts to back it up – all you are doing is speculating and spewing false worthless comments. What most of you don’t comprehend is that besides being an amazing store with great products and a cafe which made our neighborhood better – it was also creating jobs, generating revenue and boosting local economy. Look at Emmons Ave now and look how many Russian owned businesses are there? And in terms of paying less than minimum wage, lack of benefits or stereotyping employees – again….mindless blabber without facts. What do you think American owned small businesses are any different? If you do, you my friend are grossly mistaken. Many of you that make these unwarranted comments without facts are close minded liberals who do not always get to see the big picture. That is why we the Russian immigrants came to this country with nothing and for the most part all created great lives here for us and our families through hard work and determination while many of you are 2nd or 3rd generation citizens who have no ambition and determination to succeed and grow and are happy living on a $60,000 a year job.

  11. I’m saying focus first on businesses that make hundreds of billions of dollars in profit and don’t pay any taxes, then you can direct your all seeing eye to the local grocery store that pays their cashiers in cash so it can deliver a lower priced good to you as a consumer. You’re condoning these “illegal” activities by shopping there, you don’t want to condone it — don’t shop there. Am I complaining that Walmart uses child labor in China and Bangladesh to manufacture their products? No, I just don’t shop there.

  12. Is this more of mindless propaganda or you actually have facts? Did you read a newspaper article on some liberal web site that has now inspired you to ramble on and on about some mystical avoidance of paying taxes, paying minimum wage and benefits? Do you even know the mandatory benefits obligations for full/part time employees in NYC? Do you know how much taxes are owed by a business in contrast to write offs and profits? Are the people forced to work there and receive less than minimum wage or are they there working willingly because they want a job and don’t want to be on public assistance like many of the liberals in NYC? No you don’t know, and no you did not ask anyone you are just sitting there and making baseless assumptions. It is sad that some of us who have great jobs (and pay in taxes more than some make in a year), own property, and have a great life style as a result of hard work and will to success must be tainted by baseless accusations and childish assumptions.

  13. my baseless accusations and childish assumptions must’ve hit a sensitive nerve to make you dedicate your precious time to writing two lengthy comments instead of making that excessive salary of yours. i hope your employer does not notice that you spend so much time on this site on their dime.

  14. According to a very reputable source (Dadya Bushstein), this appears to be an act of terror! After all, I am feeling scared, and need to vent my frustration by shopping at the 86th st. Cherry Hill (under the L).
    This same source states that the second Cherry Hill will also have an “accident” soon.

    Also, this thread is now being monitored by the NSA!
    (Nationalnic Socialistichiski Agenstva)

  15. Jay, my “cock-loft” is also just a small space between the
    roof and the second floor.
    But I too am looking forward to the “crappy” russian stores to be replaced with average quality, overpriced seafood fare restaurant, run by the Italian Mafia, like your friendly neighborhood Randazzholes.
    BTW, Randazzholes clam-hucker Mexicans make less then the russian J1’s, since they dont even have J1 Visas, and can be deported any day.
    Russians can learn alot from their Italian brethren.

  16. Not sure about all the nasty, comments here, just glad no one seriously injured. Hope the firefighter hurt is ok. This is the only landmark in this community and it is important and we hope the owner has good insurance to restore the building. The best to MOMA and the other businesses too, after Sandy, and we can wish safe fast recovery after this horrible incident.

  17. Another case of Russian schemers.. Business is bad, so they burn the place, just like XO did for insurance money. Not surprised, this is a typical Russian move.

  18. Not to say that it is a suspicious fire,but I am sure the building owners,would love to see the building destroyed. As a landmark,they are very limited,as to how it can be used.If it could be torn down,they would make a fortune,on a new highrise structure.

  19. My dear friend. If you have something against Russians, you let me know where you want to meet me to say this to my face. If not stop saying things that you cant stand up for. In stead of making this anti Russians statements, you should think about ” where would sheepshead bay be without Russians and what this place used to be before Russians”. By the way I have served in USMC for 4 years and in my passport it says American. Now I am a small business owner in sheepshead bay area. So tell me now, between the two of us, who is more American.

  20. Sadly, we can never go home again…..sheepshead bay and lundys are no more!!!!! They are now Russia……………………………………………………………

  21. If this was a plan, it sure failed quite miserably – building is still there, but thousands of $ in equipment and food is gone. Plus insurance premiums are going to skyrocket (2 major claims in less than one year)…
    Safe to say, I don’t think so.

  22. All indications were that the business was doing very well – plenty of customers in the store, busy cafe. They were the first to re-open after Sandy in that area, too.
    This conspiracy theory is also weak (as is the “landmark” one, explained separately).

  23. I didnt even get to go yet! It better be open, or i’ll join the anti-Russian diatribe. I like that word diatribe. Makes me sound smart, and that’s not easy.

  24. it’s pretty pricey. They used to have 30% off Monday and Tuesday, but that sign is no longer up, so I assume they did away with that secret gem.

  25. Russians have done nothing special for Sheepshead Bay. Everything is still basically the same as it has been for decades. Once Sheepshead Bay was Irish; then Italian; then American Jewish; now mostly Russian; there are many Asian folks moving in now. Despite these minor differences, Sheepshead Bay remains Sheepshead Bay. That’s all.

  26. So happy that both MOMO and Masal were not only opened yesterday, but looked packed. Saw it while I was driving by last night, and Masal looked so vibrant.

  27. thanks. for the good news. Walked by this morning, saw a “we’re open” sign on Momo, it made my day. It’s my favorite restaurant of all-time. If all vegetables tasted like theirs, I’d be the healthiest person alive.

  28. Most anti-Russian sentiment here in the bay is actually from conservatives, who complain that “its not how it used to be”.

  29. What about Russian (actually, Jewish-Ukrainian) immigrants who are also open-minded liberals (hint: me)?
    Please don’t lump everyone together, like some on thread do with you.

  30. Just want to know, you came to the USA, with a child, we’re able to rent an apartment, or buy a home, get furnishings, food, health care, utilities, school supplies and clothing on 200$$ can you PLEASE tell me how to do this!!!! Wow, you are a financial wiz!!! Please share how you were able to live!

  31. Thanks to NYFD that risked their lives to put this fire out, this has nothing to do with who owns what, men put their lives on the line, one was injured!! Thank you Brooklyn fire departments! We appreciate you!

  32. Excellent question, let me answer it for you since many of the immigrants during this period had a very similar experience.

    Indeed, before the U.S.S.R broke up an immigrating family was not able to leave with more than $200. We could also ship some household items such as bed sets, cloth, plates and cooking wear to a destination in the U.S before we left. In order to immigrate a relative already in the U.S had to send you an invitation. After our family of four (I was 9 at this time) arrived in the U.S our relatives picked us from the airport and took us to their house. We had on us $200 and some luggage with cloth, that’s it!

    For a few weeks we lived with the relatives, while my parents, both of whom had advanced university degrees looked for jobs. With no English skills or references the jobs they were able to get were menial labor jobs, cleaning, babysitting, painting houses, the pay was minimum wage or less.

    After a few weeks our family of 4 was able to rent a small apartment. Like you said, we had nothing. We slept on our blankets on the floor. The furniture, TVs, tables, chairs, everything, was found in the trash. The only things we bought were new mattresses. We ate the cheapest food we could buy often walking many miles to save a few cents.

    There was also a Jewish not for profit organization called HIAS that loaned immigrants money so they could get settled. After you got on your feet you were expected to pay all the money back, which we did. After some time my parents got better jobs, received different education certification and little by little we joined the middle class. But it took a lot of time, and work. In the beginning no job was too low and no piece of trash that can be used in some way discarded. There was zero feeling of enlightenment. This is the experience for most of us who came here before 1991.

    So as you can see you don’t need to be a financial wiz, only a hard worker. Perhaps you can take this lesson and apply it your own community or which ever community currently feels they don’t get enough handouts.

  33. Also a big shout-out to another UJA affiliate, NYANA

    They were a big help in the first couple of months after we came to New York, not only with their English and Civics classes, but also case workers who were able to answer basic everyday-life questions (What’s a resume? How do you use coupons? etc.) For those who didn’t have relatives here who could help, this was a lifesaver (in some cases, literally).

  34. Thanks for that reply, Tuth.

    The conditions faced by some Russian immigrants were even worse that those you described. I never understood or appreciated it, not being of Russian descent, until one of my best friends’ mothers began telling me about her journey here.

    I believe she came from a satellite nation, (I want to say Azerbaijan, but I’m not certain). She told me about how she was separated from her family by authorities, who then proceeded to demand bribes and rob her blind. They then directed her to the wrong train (apparently, this was a common ‘joke’ played on Jews leaving the country), sending her to the wrong place. By the time she figured it out, she had to sell what little she had left in order to get back on track. She eventually arrived in Italy, penniless and without luggage or anything (I believe she saved photos), before she was able to continue on to the US. There was much more than this, and the impression I walked away with is that the soldiers and authorities in charge did as much as possible to humiliate the departing emigres.

    In the US, she and her husband worked minimum wage jobs at first. Her husband worked his way up to a management position with one of the biggest bakeries (you’ve had their products, I promise) in Brooklyn. They own a home and put two kids through college, and both are now making good money with full-time, white collar jobs.

    The beauty of the US is that you don’t need to scam to have that kind of social mobility, thanks to our support systems and groups like those mentioned. It’s unfortunate that those who do know not know of the immigrant experience in this country assume that the only way anyone could have emerged from poverty is to be scamming (and, surely, there are many that do, and possibly because social mobility has gotten more difficult for immigrants in the past 20 years).

    Anyway, since I heard that story about three or four years ago, I’ve wanted to do a series interviewing the immigrants of that era about their experience. Unfortunately, so little time (and funding) for special projects like that…

  35. Being very poor at some point in once life is one of the best experiences you can have. First, you really appreciate the things you get later in life in a way that people who were never in poverty never can, and two, you are not scared of being economically poor in the future cause you went through it before and know how it feels like.

    In regards to your project, there is a guy who is doing something very similar, his name is Michael Drob. He has a FB group called: Russian Immigrant Stories, and what he does is film interviews with Russian immigrants and at some point I think he will put it into a film. I am sure if you contact him he would love to collaborate.


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