A gas explosion in the basement under a restaurant caused by a leak, a contractor, plumber and the gas company were involved with replacing a gas meter and adding or replacing a gas line with a larger one. According to the news, the gas company refused to connect the new meter because the new larger line was too close to the wall to connect the meter, so the gas company left, and everything was left as it was found, but about an hour later there was a large gas explosion!
One can only assume at this point that after the gas company left, someone tampered with the gas line.
The result was the first building started burning and became a raging inferno, the gas explosion may have blow out a wall or there was an opening in the basements between a couple of buildings because this first building became fully involved with fire on every floor and both buildings next to it also caught fire, this includes the large red brick building on the corner.
Of interest to me too was that the building on the North which survived with just damage when the adjacent buildings collapsed is yet another one of what I called the “Athena buildings” which have the same 3 ornaments on them- the Athena keystone, a square grotesque and a small lion keystone.
Here’s some photos, starting with how the block looked before the fire:
Some terracotta ornaments adorned this large corner building, along with some attractive fancy brickwork:
The fire raging out of control, this turned into a 7 alarm fire! The “Athena building” as I call them is shown here next to the fire, it has the name “Alpine” in raised letters in it’s tin plated steel parapet cornice:
Further discussion on these “Athena buildings” can be read here: