Fire breaks out in Garden City apartment complex

By Zachary Kussin | April 11, 2012 04:00PM

[Updated at 11:30 a.m. on April 12 with a statement AvalonBay Communities]

A morningtime blaze damaged an under-construction apartment complex in Garden City, Long Island, fire officials said. The fire broke out before noon at the Avalon Garden City, located at 998 Stewart Avenue, according to a spokesperson for the Garden City Fire Department. Construction workers were on the scene at the time of the fire, he said, but there are no reports of injuries at this time. As CBS New York reported earlier today, the fire badly damaged the roof of one section of the complex.

No occupied apartments were impacted by the fire, according to John Christie, senior director of investor relations and research for AvalonBay Communities. The fire was contained to one building, he said, and he didn’t know if it had engulfed all floors.

Richard Wolff, a spokesperson for AvalonBay communities, said the fire erupted in a building that was under construction, and did not house any residents.

According to an AvalonBay statement issued today by Matthew Whalen, vice president for development at AvalonBay Communities, the fire was deemed to be accidental and there were no reported injuries. Though Whalen wouldn’t indicate the cost of the damage, he said it will largely be covered by insurance. The building is expected to be rebuilt right away and Avalon Garden City’s leasing office will reopen tomorrow morning.

Avalon Garden City began construction in the second quarter of 2011. The community is slated to have 204 apartments.

The Garden City Fire Department sent one ladder truck to the scene of the fire, said a department spokesperson, who said that the fire came through the roof and “looked pretty big.” At press time the fire was under control, the spokesperson said.

As for the cost of damage to the structure, Christie said, “it’s too soon to know.”

According to the Avalon Garden City’s website, Avalon offers townhomes, plus one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for rent.