Volume 79, Number 38 | February 24 - March 2, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by Lincoln Anders

As a woman cleaned up debris in front of 80 Greene St. last Friday afternoon, an emergency official entered the fire-damaged building.

Fire hit Soho building as its residents were asleep

By Lincoln Anderson

An early-morning fire in a Soho building sent loft residents fleeing for their lives and destroyed a high-end bedding store’s pricey inventory.

The blaze, at 80 Greene St. between Spring and Broome Sts., was reported to the Fire Department about 3:45 a.m. last Friday. Fire officials said the cause was still being investigated. However, some at the scene noted that a lengthy renovation had been ongoing on the building’s second floor.

Joakim Andreasson, who works in an office on the fourth floor, was contacted and told to rush over to the scene early Friday morning.

“The smoke was located on the second and third floors,” he said. 

The building’s top four stories are mainly residential. There were no injuries other than some minor ones to firefighters responding to the fire — which went to four alarms — said Battalion 2 Chief James Smithwick.

Sammy Pagan, a super at the neighboring building, saw the smoke eaters arrive to battle the flames.

“So many Fire Department trucks and and police,” he said. “I never seen so many Fire Department trucks since 9/11.”

Susan Davidson, a fashion executive, and her husband, Allen Miller, a banker, were standing on the street talking with emergency officials early Friday afternoon, as residents waited to be let inside to get essential possessions. The couple have lived in a triplex at 80 Greene St. since 1987.

“We’re on the top floor,” Davidson said. “Someone rang my bell at about 4 a.m. this morning — and I’m wondering who it was. I opened the back doorway, but the stairwell was filled with smoke. We walked over on the roof to the next-door building and got out.

“My best friend has a pied-à-terre,” she said. “I expect we will not be in here for a while.”

Meanwhile, the Hästens bedding store lost about 40 beds due to water damage from the firefighters’ hoses, according to David Ukay, a trucker for the company. The Swedish store features handmade beds and mattresses with all-natural materials.

“Finished — and the basement, too,” he said. “Those beds are like $20,000 to $50,000 apiece.”

Ukay said he’d heard the fire’s cause was “something with the vent, an electric short upstairs.”






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