NYPD Evidence Warehouse Fire

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that provides Loss Prevention Services. Since 1997, we have been working in regions all over the world utilizing the most advanced and current standards.

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December 21st, 2022

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

On December 13, 2022, a three-alarm fire caused detrimental damage to a NYPD warehouse located on the Kingsland Avenue waterfront in Brooklyn. The warehouse stored decades’ worth of evidence tied to New York City cold cases. The exact number of cases impacted by the loss is undetermined and will likely impact efforts to exonerate the wrongfully accused, and close unsolved investigations.

Heavy smoke billows from the NYPD warehouse.

Eight minor injuries to firefighters and medical personnel took place while fighting the blaze. Site workers initially observed the fire in shelving inside the warehouse and alerted department personnel, but the fire moved too rapidly for the building’s sprinkler system to extinguish the flames. Crews first attempted to fight the fire from inside the warehouse, but upon realizing how quickly the fire had grown, moved to an external strategy.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, according to a FDNY representative. Lithium-ion batteries in confiscated e-bikes stored at the facility may have been involved, fire department sources said. It is not believed that the building had automatic sprinklers.

The warehouse, that also experienced destruction in 2012 by  Superstorm Sandy, stored evidence regarding burglaries, homicides, and shootings. This includes weapons, clothing articles, vehicles, forensic fibers, other objects of interest and sensitive DNA material. The fire destroyed everything within the warehouse that may have made for meaningful physical evidence.

Building fires lead to much more than financial loss. In this case, the loss of justice and hope is not only internally tragic to the wrongly convicted, but a huge loss to the efficacy of the NYC criminal justice system. It is imperative that routine inspections take place to prevent large losses. Risk Logic has experienced engineers and knowledge to keep your building safe. Contact Risk Logic for a full inspection of your property today.