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Report: Metro-North fire fueled by chemicals stored without permits

Officials said train service would return to normal Friday morning

An East Harlem garden store that was badly damaged in a fire Tuesday night was storing flammable materials without proper permits, according to a report in DNAInfo.

“This business owner did not apply for the necessary permits to store flammable materials in these quantities at this location," a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told DNAinfo. "Had the business followed the law, FDNY would have assessed the site and determined that this storage of flammable materials should not be allowed.”

The store was reportedly storing fertilizer, firewood, soil and other chemicals officials told the website fueled the fire.


"There was more combustible material there than at a outdoor Home Depot center, including propane," another unnamed source reportedly told DNAinfo.

Investigators said fuel accidentally spilled on a generator during a refueling caused the blaze, which snarled train service on the Metro-North tracks that ran overhead.

The blaze, which grew to four alarms, occurred under the viaduct between E. 117th and E. 118th streets around 7 p.m.

Trains running on the tracksshould return to their normal frequency Friday morning, officials said. Service was running on a limited Saturday schedule as workers implemented temporary fixes to some supports that were damaged in the blaze.

 

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