Brooklyn Sewage Plant Fire Sends Chemicals Skyward, Burns for Hours

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Sheepshead bay residents might have to hold their noses this morning after a sewage plant fire. After several explosions, it burned for four hours last night.

The cause of the fire is unknown. But the end result last night was a rancid smell that was really horrible. However, this morning the smell has improved after a little bit of rain. During the fire last night the plant remained in operation, so it really eliminated the risk of raw sewage being dumped into the ocean.

After a short series of explosions smoke filled the air for hours as firefighters battled a ferocious fire at the Coney Island Sewage Treatment Plant. Nearby residents were forced to evacuate for at least four hours.

Asst. Chief Ed Kildoff, FDNY: "Our HAZMAT unit and DEP have monitored the surrounding area for any toxic effects from the smoke and they have determined that there is no toxic effects or toxic combustion from the fire."

At about 7:00 p.m. the fire struck in the section of the plant that purifies the air that leaves the facility. Suddenly the plant could be smelled for miles away and Sheepshead Bay residents might just have to get used to it.

Resident: "The bad news is for this part of Sheepshead Bay, it is going to be a smelly operation until they get those fans built."

And that, according to officials could take months. Some firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation but no one was seriously injured.

Chief Kildoff: "What we have is a caustic smoke condition that causes a slight irritation if you are standing in the cloud breathing this in. We have had several complaints from the residents in the neighborhood, but we have only treated one for a minor irritation at this point."

The plant opened in 1890 and it is the oldest plant in the city. It was rebuilt in 1996 to include that odor control system that was on fire last night.