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30 years worth of evidence, including DNA, possibly destroyed in NYPD storage facility blaze

Investigators: Evidence in NYPD warehouse was likely destroyed in fire
Investigators: Evidence in NYPD warehouse was likely destroyed in fire 02:33

Evidence, including DNA and items collected from crime scenes, dating back up to 30 years may have been destroyed in a 3-alarm fire that overtook a New York City Police Department storage facility in Brooklyn. Eight people suffered minor injuries, fire officials said.

The blaze erupted around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Erie Basin Auto Pound, a facility in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood where the NYPD stores evidence, FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said in a press conference. 

According to NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, the building was a police department pound that stored "a lot of biological evidence" as well as e-bikes and cars. 

"DNA, things from past crimes, burglaries, shooting incidents, we have some biological evidence here as well," Maddrey said at the press conference. "It's mainly evidence, but we store other things there as well." 

Officials said that rape evidence kits were not stored at the facility.

A blaze broke out at the Erie Basin Auto Pound on Columbia Street in Red Hook at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, authorities said. New York Daily News

"The evidence goes back a long time, 20-30 years. Some of the evidence was also property from (Hurricane) Sandy as well," Maddrey added. 

Police said they won't know the extent of the damage until the fire is put out, a task the fire department said could take several days. But Hodgens said that he would "estimate that most of the contents are damaged by fire."

The investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

Hodgens said that eight people, including three members of the FDNY, three EMS personnel, and two civilians, suffered minor injuries as a result of the fire. 

Massive fire breaks out at NYPD impound, evidence warehouse in Brooklyn
A view of the site as a massive fire broke out at an NYPD impound and evidence storage warehouse in Brooklyn on December 13, 2022 in Brooklyn, United States. Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

"We attempted an interior fire attack, but the members were overwhelmed by the amount of fire and we had to back all of our firefighters out of the building and go to an exterior attack," Hodgens said, adding that at one point, part of the building collapsed.

Fire officials are using three marine fire boats and drones to attack the fire. 

"It's a deep-seated, heavy volume of fire, that's hard to get to the seat of the fire," Hodgens added.

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