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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2010

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

OVERHEATED ELECTRICAL JUNCTION BOX TO BLAME FOR CHINATOWN SEVEN-ALARM BLAZE, FIRE MARSHALS DETERMINE

Following an exhaustive three-week investigation, FDNY Fire Marshals have determined that an overheated electrical junction box caused the seven-alarm fire that broke out at 283 Grand Street in Manhattan on the evening of April 11.  One civilian was killed in the fire and 30 firefighters and EMTs were injured along with three civilians. 

Marshals said the metal junction box, which connected the electrical cables that fed power to the building, was fixed into the rear of the first floor at 283 Grand Street, in what appeared to be the storage area of a 99-cent store there.  The five floors above contained apartments. Sparks or heat from the box itself started the fire.

Following multiple interviews and a painstaking forensic examination of the site that included study of burn patterns at the scene, Marshals traced the fire’s origin to the roughly three-inch junction box.  Marshals began to focus upon the box after noticing melted copper wire feeding out of it.  Copper wire typically only melts because of a problem, such as a short, within the box and not as the result of an external flame.


Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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