by Adam LeBow
MANHATTAN, UPPER WEST SIDE—Police and fire officials are trying to determine the origins of a garbage fire that destroyed one vehicle and damaged two others on W. 100th St. between West End Ave. and Riverside Dr.
Those at the scene this morning estimate that the fire, which started in a pile of residential garbage that was at the curb awaiting sanitation department pickup, began around 4:30 AM. A fire department official observing the damage pointed out that, from there, the story becomes obvious: the garbage bags contained a large amount of books being discarded. Easily ignited, the fire probably grew quickly, communicated to the vehicle parked alongside that part of the curb, and then communicated to the vehicles in front of and behind the first vehicle before the FDNY was able to put the fire out.
Police are investigating, but there are few leads. An FDNY official said that while the fire could have been lit intentionally, it is more likely that it was an accident, such as a cigarette thrown onto the garbage bags without being put out first. Fire marshals blamed the recent Macy’s fire on what an FDNY spokesman called a “carelessly discarded” cigarette.
For more photos, click here.