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LIC Pier Catches Fire From New Year’s Fireworks, Burns Gaping Hole Through Boardwalk

Pier in Gantry Plaza damaged by Fireworks (QueensPost)

Jan. 5, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

New Year’s revelers set off fireworks on a Long Island City pier last Friday that caused the wooden floorboards to catch fire and burn a gaping hole through the boardwalk.

A section of Pier 3, located at Gantry Plaza State Park, was scorched by the fireworks that went off after midnight on New Year’s Day. The pier has since been shut down to the public.

Firefighters responded to reports of a fire on the pier at around 6:30 a.m. and extinguished the flames, the FDNY said.

The FDNY did not reveal the cause of the fire, however, a number of residents said that they saw fireworks being set off at the location earlier that morning. The FDNY is still investigating the incident.

Firefighters were seen cutting off some of the charred wood on the pier once the fire was put out. The damage resulted in a large hole that is estimated to be around 8 feet long and 6 feet wide. The damage is located at the beginning of the pier.

There also appears to be structural damage to the cross beams, according to photo images. It is not known who is responsible for the fire and the NYPD said it is waiting on the outcome of the FDNY’s investigation before commenting.

All of Pier 3 – as well as its connecting walk bridge – will remain closed to the public as a safety precaution until the damage is completely repaired, according to the NYS Parks Dept.

“We’re setting up a full engineering evaluation to assess the extent of the damage,” Leslie Wright, regional director of the NYS Parks Dept. said. “We will then take whatever steps are necessary to repair it, get it safe and get it open.”

Wright said the cost of the damage will not be known until the evaluation is completed. She said that the Parks Dept. has erected a barricade with a sign to block the pier off to the public. The barricade is located at the entrance to the footbridge.

Mark Christie, a long-time Hunters Point resident, said that he heard fireworks going off from the location at midnight and again two hours later.

“I could hear big loud fireworks going off when I went to bed at around 2 a.m. and I could smell burn,” Christie said.

“I thought it was just from the fireworks and didn’t realize it was from the pier.”

Christie said he had hoped for a better start to the new year given that the park was plagued by antisocial behavior, graffiti and other acts of vandalism in 2020.

“It is disappointing things haven’t been nipped in the bud yet,” he said. Christie also serves as the vice president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

The damage to Pier 3 can be seen on the top left-hand corner. The entrance to the footbridge is barricaded off (center)

The damage to Pier 3

email the author: news@queenspost.com

4 Comments

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A NYCHA Resident

If NYCHA followed diversity protocol these types of incidents would occur less. Demand the diversification of NYCHA or have them turned over to for profit responsible owners and management. A group from a NYCHA development are responsible for this negligent and irresponsible act.

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Dan the Man

Where was Jimmy when we needed him ? I also wonder how long before he takes a selfie on the pier and posts it on his twitter account? At least they didn’t put a hole in one of the bike lanes and hopefully the drag queens are not scheduled any upcoming performances on the pier.

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Mac

Dan – I don’t know what you think a city councilman’s job responsibilities entail but sitting on a pier and protecting it from vandals and criminals is not on the job description. Where were you ?

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Moderated

I may not love JVB but I almost feel like some of the people on here are bots because of how frequently the same handful of words come up. Enough about the bike lanes and drag queens already, there is a lot more to complain about in the world, and if you would just refocus your hate for a second maybe you could do some good.

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