On September 15, 2012 at around 8pm a fire broke out in the Aladdin homeless shelter. The fire started on the first floor; heavy smoke went through the nine-story building and was seen pouring from the roof. The 300+ residents had to be evacuated. Fortunately there was clean air in one of two stairwells, or this could have been much, much worse. Two injuries were reported. Residents of the first floor (the fire floor) were relocated that evening and next day by Red Cross and DHS. We have also had reports that many residents of floors 2, 3 and 4 have also had to be relocated as their doors were broken down by the fire dept.
The W 45th St. Block Association remains concerned about fire hazards at the Aladdin:
1) For years garbage, including old mattresses, was allowed to accumulate around the building.
2) For months water from broken pipes has dripped through light fixtures.
3) Residents have reported sparks from faulty wiring in electrical outlets.
4) Because this is a non-cooking facility, and because residents nonetheless want to be able to cook and eat onsite (eating out for all your meals can get pretty expensive), use of hotplates inside the rooms is common.
We will post more information about the fire as it becomes available.
***Update*** The FDNY Fire Incident Report for the Aladdin fire of 9/15/12 is attached below. There were 5 injuries (smoke inhalation). Cause of fire: overloaded electrical outlet in a resident's room. Report states that Ladder 4 often has to go to the Aladdin for emergencies involving use of hotplates in the rooms.