Fallen tree knocks out power, causes wire fire


Three utility poles were damaged and a parked vehicle caught fire last Monday, Feb. 20 after a tree fell on overhead wires just after 10 p.m. in front of 5435 Fieldston Road, a stone’s throw from the gated entrance to the Russian mission compound building.

Engine 52 firefighters responded to a multiple-alarm fire at the address at 10:15 p.m., FDNY said.

William Odd, who lives across the street, said he heard an explosion and jumped out of bed in time to see the utility lines crackling to life. The fire cast a greenish glow, he said.

He dialed the fire department and ran outside with his camera.

“By the time I got outside, the fire trucks were already pulling up,” Odd said. “They responded very quickly. The whole neighborhood was outside.”

The electrical fire spread along downed power lines spanning three utility poles, threatening homes at the corner of Fieldston Road and West 254th Street.

The homes at 5443 and 5435 Fieldston Road were evacuated out of precaution, FDNY said. One utility pole and a vehicle caught fire before firefighters got the blaze under control at 11:12 p.m. No one was injured in the incident.

A spokesperson for ConEd said 142 customers lost service in the area.

Most had their service restored later the same evening. Two customers toughed it out longer until their power was back on Feb. 22, ConEd said.

Tree damage occurring during storms is the most common cause of electrical fires in overhead power lines, according to ConEd. But there was no precipitation Feb. 20, and wind was moving northwest at 7 mph.

Valentine’s Day
flower grab

A 56-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint while selling flowers and Teddy bears on West 231st Street and Kingsbridge Avenue Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 14 at about 1:38 p.m.

The victim told police three men in a red Nissan pulled up to the curb and the driver pointed a gun at him while two passengers exited the car and removed merchandise worth $75, then got back in sped away. The stolen items also included gift bags, he said.

The 50th Precinct detective squad is investigating.

site burglarized

Police responded to a burglary Monday, Feb. 6 at 8:20 a.m. at 39 Dash Place, the Timber Equities construction site where a four-story residential building is underway. Trespassers gained access to the property from an unknown point of entry and removed $21,180 in construction tools, police said.

The missing items include power crimpers, hammer drills, grinders, chipping guns, and lasers, along with batteries and other miscellaneous equipment. Camera footage of the incident is available, police said.

The 50th Precinct detective squad is investigating.

Armed robber takes $34 from bank

A man entered Ridgewood Savings Bank at 3899 Sedgwick Ave. Monday, Feb. 6 at 11:40 a.m. displayed a gun, and demanded money, a bank employee told police. She handed him $34 from her drawer and an indelible dye pack worth $180, she said. Police later recovered the dye pack nearby.

The robbery is being investigated by the NYPD’s major case squad.

Car nabbed in
broad daylight

A 48-year-old man reported a stolen care Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 7 at 2:12 p.m. The vehicle vanished from the southwest corner of Kappock Street and Knolls Crescent, he told police, after he parked at about 7:30 Tuesday morning. He returned the same afternoon to find it missing.

The stolen vehicle is a gray 2021 Honda Civic estimated to be worth $26,000. The 50th Precinct detective squad is investigating.

Car damaged after attempted theft

The owner of a 2006 Toyota minivan reported damage to his vehicle Tuesday morning, Feb. 14 at 9:47 a.m. at 3039 Tibbett Ave. after an apparent hotwiring attempt.

He returned to his car to find the passenger door broken and the steering wheel column cover removed, with wires left exposed. The estimated total cost of the damage was $502, police noted.

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