Southern Brooklyn

Gravesend Fire Leaves 10 Injured, 3 Critically


An early-morning blaze tore through a Gravesend apartment building leaving ten injured, including three residents in critical conditions and six firefighters in need of minor treatment.

The fire began around 2:45 a.m. in the top floor of a six-story apartment building on Colby Street. It was contained to one apartment, occupied by two senior citizens. The residents are among those critically injured and being treated for smoke inhalation.

Several ladder companies raced to the scene, taking more than 45 minutes to battle the blaze. Residents of the building scrambled to evacuate, using the windows of first-floor apartments to exit to the courtyard. At least one man on a lower-level was reported to be in cardiac arrest.

The injured were taken to Lutheran Medical Center and Coney Island Hospital for treatment. No word on their condition.

More coverage:
10 hurt, 3 critically, in Brooklyn apartment fire [ABC]
Gravesend, Brooklyn Fire [FOX]
10 Injured in Brooklyn Fire [CBS]

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  1. Yes, my friend called me around 3AM as she lived across the street.
    These are the Beach Haven Apartments.

    Note that the landlord wants $5,000 – $8,000 CASH “under the table” of people who want to move into the building(s) using section 8 vouchers.

    Charging CASH for the section 8 voucher is illegal..

    If the building already has a section 8 tenant, they must accept the section 8 voucher WITHOUT the bribery. If the building/house does not have any section 8 tenants, they don’t have to accept the voucher and can refuse it.

    In this particular building the landlord sends another person to pick up the money and does not do it himself. In that case the person getting the money is arrested and the landlord DENIES everything. Unless the person arrested testifies against him. The landlord in this building knows the LAW and is hard to get without more witnesses and victims who paid for the section 8 voucher apartments.
    If someone does it to you, you my contact the attorney generals office and housing department. They MAY make you have a wire tap and put cameras around the place where you plan to give the money (if its your apartment). They may also provide you with an undercover agent to act like your relative or home attendant for the seniors.

    During the fire, FDNY did a very good job and responsive. They even cut tree branches to be able to reach the windows using the cranes (long ladders attached to the trucks).
    All the FDNY injuries were related to smoke inhalation. ( no one fell down or something of that nature)
    One elderly person was not able to get out fast because she was paralyzed.

  2. What else is new….why you even make a fuss about it, look at congressman charles rangel he has 4 great subsidize apartments nobody has any issues with it. Can you tackle that corruption before you try slam down little people who trying to look out for their own interest.

    and no i dislike your comment whoever you are

  3. There was another fire around 11am today on West 5th in one of the Trump buildings. I heard it was on the 3rd floor. FDNY had the block closed off for a while.

  4. You’re putting down FYI for exposing this?
    It’s attitudes like yours that encourage corruption in everyday life..especially in our area.

  5. It was poor people that were affected by this. Shamil doesn’t think poor people have any rights.

    Little people like the owners of Beach Haven, who *might* be trying to make a dishonest million or two are not to be investigated.

    I usually dislike Shamil’s comments whatever they are.

  6. Yes, I heard this couple live in beach haven for 5 years. After 5 years, the wife died and he was alone. He applied for section 8 voucher and that same landlord said that he must pay CASH 9,000 to stay in the building. Out of fear and not knowing the law, he paid the $9,000.

  7. The people who are made to pay the landlord CASH under the table (like BEACH HAVEN) are immigrants and senior citizens who don’t know the law. And the landlord sends the middle guy to ask for the cash and collect it.

    He told one person that its legal… So if its legal, why didn’t he accept a check?

    Before March of last year, landlords tried to refuse to accept section 8 vouchers without a reason… But, after March 2009… It became law that if the building already has one or more section 8 tenants, they must accept section 8 and can not refuse them.

    99% of section 8 tenants in Beach Haven are SENIORS who speak little english

  8. Sorry not 99%… I am not sure the statistics… The people who told me about it are ALL seniors… But, am not sure what % of the building are seniors with section 8…
    Imagine your parents, grandparents or you with little income have to pay CASH to the landlord….

  9. Has anyone thought to contact the Brooklyn Tenants Council? Larry Jayson, who runs that organization can be reached at 718-435-7585. They have gone after some of the worst slumlords. And they will get help from HRA and HPD.

  10. Lisanne,
    Thank you for the information. Its very sad most immigrants and seniors dont know where to turn for help. Beach Haven has 100s of apartment and do this to AT Least 40-60 tenants a year.. Its extra $300,000 CASH of untaxed money a year…
    Thank you…
    Hopefully good luck will come to you from a higher source as you are helping seniors.

  11. i will bet anyone here anything that “for your information ” applied for an apartment and was denied due to his credit report. Beach Haven has been around for 50 years and was owned by the Trump Organization. Say what you want but the last time I checked, the Trump Family wasn’t that hard up for money, that they would jeopardize their business with a scam like this. Like Fred or Robert Trump would ask for money in this fashion. Maybe the brokers are corrupt, and maybe its the new LL that bought the complex a few years ago. MAYBE ITS THE LYING SCUMBAG RUSSIANS THAT ARE CHEATING THE SYSTEM AS USUAL. Either way to infer that the landlord of 2000+ units just at Beach Haven needs to conduct business this way is absurd.

    PS last time i checked section 8 was suspended indefinitely jackass or are you talking about years ago?

  12. 99% of all Beach Haven tenants are seniors who speak little english. And have lived happily there for years- like the tenants in this tragic fire who lived there for 30 years.

  13. God forbid …having to actually pay the landlord. THEY DONT EVEN PAY RENT!!! How are they coming up with $9000 and qualify as destitute enough for section 8. YOU ARE A DISGRACE AND JUST BLEW YOURSELF UP.

  14. OOhhh, I would bet a stack (if I had a stack) that it is true. It runs rampant.
    Scum buckets are out there taking advantage wherever they can.
    I don’t know about sect. 8 per say, but if it is suspended, there are a lot of existing cases.

  15. Please let us know whether Brooklyn Tenants can be of any help in this situation. If I recall correctly Larry Jayson usually suggests that a Tenants Council be formed. This means that one tenant needs to agree to act as a spokesperson for the tenants. This person will get help, and the problem is the result of wrongdoing on a lower management level this person will be told first about what has been done to remedy the situation. It would be nice if the tenants who lost money in this way could get restitution but there is no guarantee that can happen. Especially as there is not a paper trail to follow.

    But the practice of extortion can be stopped.

  16. Your a MORON. Seems like all you want to do here is disagree with what everyone is saying. Stop wasting your time. Dick.

  17. youre right its always a complete waste of time arguing with liberal assholes. Goodnite. oh and i heard the landlord started the fire so they could move in more section 8 tenants. im sure thats just what they want



  18. Its the NEW LAND LORD… His office is on the fourth or the sixth floor on the building on Ave Z.. A pretty younger guy… its him.. instead of arguing why don’t you try to rent an apartment in the building and pretend like you have section 8 voucher and see what they tell you. Audit the records of the people who live in the building under section 8 and ask if they paid….
    The people waited for years for the section 8 vouchers…And if you have a section 8 voucher you can move from place to place using the voucher…

  19. One16th …. Do your OWN undercover work and try to rent an apartment in Beach Haven…

    The land lord from Queens will direct you to call the local office..

    The local office ( he turned an apartment to an office on the 4th or 6th floor ) will direct you to one of the two people that he has called “agents”

    The “agent” will tell you to give the money in cash. And unless you give the cash, they will not rent it to you…

    Luckily, the City of New York is aware of the practice… Do your own homework and you will be SHOCKED… As i was shocked when i found out…

    I asked, how did you get $9,000 cash and he said that he sold the jewelry of the dead wife and borrowed money from relatives.

    Also be aware of landlords in NYC. any building over 6 families is rent regulated.
    Which means when a person moved out from apartment ABC, the rent may be increased by 2-4% or if any renovation was done to the place…. But, landlords try to increase the rent to market rate…


  20. Sometimes landlords start fires. especially to get tenants out for developing the property ( for example, if you have a buyer for demolition and developing a new building and the tenant does not want to move out ) or if they want to pull money for insurance.

    Luckily, FDNY has technology to evaluate arson or chemical used ( its not perfect, but got a lot better )

  21. Sometimes landlords start fires. especially to get tenants out for developing the property ( for example, if you have a buyer for demolition and developing a new building and the tenant does not want to move out ) or if they want to pull money for insurance.

    Luckily, FDNY has technology to evaluate arson or chemical used ( its not perfect, but got a lot better )

  22. It seems awfully strange to me that your so called “taken advantage of section 8 tenants ” would even have that much cash laying around to pay anyone “off”. Why then would they even need section 8. Oh I know, to scam the system. The investigation that needs to be done is to see how many tenants are hiding their incomes, lying about who lives in the apt with them and I would bet that investigation would show 50% of the russians there are completing bilking the entire system. Ask the russians if they want an investigation into anything! DOUBT IT.

  23. Regardless of ethnicity an investigation of the long term abuse of sect. 8 should be conducted. Starting with landlords and finishing with applicants that have remained pro-status for long periods.

  24. In Beach Haven the tenants that are forced to pay the landlord CASH under the table to accept section 8 are ( NOT people born in America ). Anyone who thinks that Beach Haven does not do it, do your own undercover work or ask ANYONE who has section 8 in that complex if they got forced to pay CASH UNDER THE TABLE to the landlord. He will send one of his reps to ask you for the money. The landlord does not have the money changed hands with you. But, with proper FBI involvement, the landlord will be arrested and hopefully go to prison. But, since they make SO MUCH MONEY, they can afford to buy the best lawyers.
    And the lawyer fees will be company expense and HE WILL GET A TAX write off for the lawyers.
    America is great. the money that you stole is used to pay lawyers. The people who rob and abuse the system will use some of that money to pay for the defense.
    But, since the landlord got cash and puts it under the mattress. He uses the rent money that he gets from the buildings $1,000 an apartment average and 100s of apartments is million of $$$$ a year.
    He can easily spend $500,000 for legal fees and claim it as a company expense to get a tax reduction..


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