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JUL
01

3 injured when scaffolding blew off roof in Park Slope

Scaffolding Scaffolding collapse in Park Slope. Photo By FDNY

Three people were injured — one seriously — after scaffolding blew off a roof into the courtyard of a bar next door, the FDNY said. 

Construction crews were working on the bulkhead of the roof of a 12-story building on 4th Avenue, near President Street, on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus Sunday afternoon when a gust of wind blew the scaffolding around the bulkhead off the roof, FDNY Deputy Chief James McNally said. 

The scaffolding flew into the courtyard of a two-story bar next door, injuring three patrons, McNally said. 

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AUG
02

Waldbaum's Fire August 2nd, 1978

Waldbaum's Fire August 2nd, 1978

August 2nd, 1978, 12 firefighters plunged into a burning Waldbaum's Supermarket when the bowstring truss roof collapsed at the center of the store. 6 firefighters died. Shortly before the collapse, a crackling sound was heard. Some of the 20 firefighters on the roof at the time were able to run to the roof's edge.

The bowstring truss, concealed by a rain roof, failed as a result of the unchecked fire gaining headway.

The fire was reported at 8:30am, escalated to a 5th alarm as a result of the rescue and recovery effort. Built in 1952, the supermarket was undergoing extensive renovations and was open for business. At the time, they were welding in the ceiling. The roof collapsed 32 minutes after initial units arrived. 6 firefighters were killed, 34 injured. 

Failure of 1 truss element can cause failure of the entire truss and a resulting collapse of the entire structure. The danger of truss construction whether a bowstring truss, wooden truss with gusset plates or metal parallel chord truss pose a danger to firefighters. 

Of the 6 members killed August 2nd, 1978 at the Waldbaum's Fire in Brooklyn, FF William O'Connor was the youngest. 29 years of age, he had only 7 1/2 months on the job. O'Connor was reporting for duty that morning, his wife and 3 children drove him to work. As they arrived, the bells were ringing in the firehouse. He ran into the firehouse, thew his gear on and jumped in. His wife followed behind to watch their hero husband/father in action. Unfortunately, they were watching as he was thrown into the collapse. 6 of New York City's bravest were killed, 34 others injured.

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