Update: 11 Firefighters Injured, Stores Destroyed in Morris Heights Fire & 3 Separate Fires in Norwood

By DAVID GREENE & SÍLE MOLONEY   Firefighters respond to a fire at 34…



Firefighters respond to a fire at 34 W. Burnside Avenue in the Morris Heights section of The Bronx on Sunday, June 27, 2021.  
Photo by David Greene

This is a developing story.


Four separate fires were reported in the Morris Heights and Norwood sections of The Bronx over the weekend.


Firefighters responded to a fire at 34 W. Burnside Avenue in Morris Heights on Sunday. While we await the official FDNY report on the incident, eleven firefighters were reportedly injured and several stores reportedly destroyed.

The fire is believed to have started in an electronics store and spread to a furniture store. A local supermarket was reportedly saved.


Tweets from the FDNY at 3.06 p.m. on Sunday indicated there was a two-alarm call in effect for a residential and commercial building fire at the location, but that had later changed to a four-alarm call, according to another FDNY tweet sent at 4.56 p.m.


Norwood News photographed several firefighters and trucks at the scene, working to address the issue.


At 5.40 p.m., FDNY confirmed in a subsequent tweet that the fire had been placed under control, and officials included the term “taxpayer” in the same tweet in reference to the type of building involved.

According to www.fireengineering.com, “taxpayer” buildings are criticized for being poorly or cheaply built, but the buildings’ developers are allowed stay in business while they “await more favorable conditions.” A fire in a so-called “taxpayer” is a special hazard in firefighting.


The poor quality construction often burns readily, and the architecture tends to encourage backdrafts. A backdraft is a rapid or explosive burning of superheated gasses in a fire situation, caused when oxygen rapidly enters an oxygen-depleted environment e.g. when a window or door to an enclosed space is opened or broken.

Backdrafts present a serious threat to firefighters. Many taxpayer buildings have been renovated several times over and have concealed or undocumented voids. More modern taxpayers were built with fire-resistant materials and are less of a hazard.


Norwood News has since reported more fully on this Morris Heights fire as part of a separate story.


In a separate incident, also on Sunday, the FDNY tweeted a call for all hands to respond to a fire in a private dwelling at 3279 Perry Avenue in Norwood at 2.27 p.m. That fire was later brought under control, as confirmed in a tweet by FDNY at 3.45 p.m.

Separately, according to Breaking News Network (BNN), there were two reported injuries arising from a separate fire at the same Perry Avenue location, 3279 Perry Avenue, in the early hours of Monday, June 28. FDNY officials confirm an initial call (known as a 10-75) to raise the alarm was later updated to an “All Hands” alert at 3.59 a.m., and later again, to a 2nd alarm, meaning more FDNY reinforcements were needed, as it was a more serious fire.


According to photographer, Chris Perkins, the fire was seen at a two-story private home.

Firefighters appear on the roof of a 2-story private home after a fire was reported at 3279 Perry Avenue in Norwood early on Monday, June 28, 2021.
Photo by Chris Perkins

It was reported by FDNY that one person (condition unknown) was removed from the building at 4.01 a.m., and that the origin of the fire had been put out. However, FDNY Division 7 also reported that the fire had extended into the cockloft, meaning the attic.


The 2nd fire alarm was transmitted at 4.24 a.m. Officials then reported that all visible fire had been put out at 4.49 a.m., and they also confirmed that two people had been removed with minor injuries at 5.03 a.m.

Firefighters use a ladder to reach the roof of 3279 Perry Avenue in Norwood where two victims were removed with minor injuries on Monday morning, June 28, 2021.
Photo by Chris Perkins

Division 7 officials later confirmed the fire had been definitively placed under control at 5.27 a.m.


Norwood News spoke to Lisa Fong, daughter of the homeowners at 3279 Perry Avenue, who confirmed the impacted building was her parents’ home.

Asked about the two fires at the location, Fong said, “The second fire was Monday morning. I think it was around 3 or 4.” She added, “I wasn’t home. I believe they said it was 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning.”

Asked about the first fire at the location on the Sunday afternoon, and if she knew how it started, she said, “Sunday afternoon, yeah, I’m not sure. They’re still investigating.”

Firefighters on the roof of 3279 Perry Avenue in Norwood where two victims were removed with minor injuries on Monday morning, June 28, 2021. Photo by Chris Perkins

We asked about the damage to the home.  “It’s a total loss, meaning it’s not livable,” Fong said. “The water damage is really bad, yeah.”

Asked about the two people who were reported as being injured, Fong confirmed they were her parents. “They’re fine, they only had smoke inhalation. They’re fine,” she said.  “They’re somewhere safe now.”

Asked if they were in hospital, she replied, “No, no, definitely not.”


Meanwhile, on Friday, June 25, another separate fire had been reported by FDNY, also in Norwood, at 3540 Decatur Avenue at 8.10 a.m. The fire was later reported as being under control according to a subsequent tweet by FDNY at 8.31 a.m.


In recent days, Norwood News has reported on a number of arson incidents and a suspected arson incident in the borough.


We have reached out to the FDNY for further information about these latest fires in Morris Heights and Norwood, and will provide more updates on this story, as they become available.