Eyes on the Street: Chain Reaction Car Fire on 58th Street

The blaze spread down the block and reached the First Avenue bike lane before firefighters got it under control.

Photos and video: Joe Enoch
Photos and video: Joe Enoch

Streetsblog reader and TV news producer Joe Enoch sent photos and video of a chain reaction car fire that happened this morning in front of his apartment building on 58th Street between First and Second avenues.

He writes:

The blue van caught fire and then started leaking fuel which spread down the street. I watched as one car after another literally exploded sending plumes of black noxious smoke into the air. The only reason the block is still standing is because somehow the fire department showed up within a few minutes despite the morning rush hour.


Firefighters had trouble putting out the fire — because the driver of the blue van parked too close to the nearest hydrant.

Seven cars were damaged or destroyed. Enoch wasn’t able to access his apartment as of early this afternoon, and expects to find smoke damage when he gets home from work.

“It’s easy to forget that we give up free street space to vehicles packed with gallons of incredibly dangerous flammables immediately next to where we live,” said Enoch. “Incredibly, the firefighters were only able to stop the blaze once it got to the First Avenue bike lane (no cars!!).”

Bike lanes — is there anything they can’t do?