A fire caused the evacuation of an East Village building shortly before 11 a.m. this morning. The fire at 133 East 4th Street, between First and Second Avenues, was contained to the basement, and no one was injured. FDNY Battalion Chief Philip Tufano said a gas line in the basement appeared to have been tampered with, but the fire marshal has yet to determine whether that was a contributing factor to the blaze.
Thor Johannessen, director of response for New York City Emergency Management, was one of the first to arrive at the scene. “There was a lot of smoke,” he said.
Tafuno said tenants would likely be allowed to return to the building today, but the evacuation was a necessary precaution. “To have gas filling up the building, and if someone lit a cigarette? Boom,” he said.