Drama Across From Tisch Studio — Chelsea Market on Fire


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A fire at Chelsea Market earlier today caused hundreds of people to evacuate the building. Only one injury was reported and the fire was extinguished in less than an hour.

By Coco Wang and Miranda Levingson

Smoke billowed across Ninth Avenue from a rooftop fire above the Chelsea Market at 12:09 p.m. today, according to a report by NY1, a local television station located in the building. One injury was reported and hundreds of people — including several Tisch School of the Arts students — were evacuated from the food court.

According to news reports, the fire originated from a water cooling system on the roof of the sixth floor near the Spectrum News NY1 office space. The flames were quelled within an hour.

A three-minute walk from the emergency, Tisch holds studio space at the Chelsea Google building in partnership with the Atlantic Acting School on Eighth Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.  

When the fire broke out, Tisch freshman Alec Squires was visiting the market during a lunch break from acting class. Squires said that although there was a lot of smoke outside, people remained pretty calm as they left the building.  

“I was at an Italian pasta place in Chelsea Market when the alarm started blaring,” Squires said. “People were a little shocked, but they were just videoing and walking away like, ‘Oh, that’s happening? That’s not good. Oh well.’”

Squires also said that Chelsea Market patrons, including himself and the friends he was with, did not receive much direction when the fire broke out.

“I heard the alarm, but I was not paying attention to it,” Squires said. “I just heard the word fire and heard people around me talking about it, so I was like, ‘Oh, [I] should probably get out.’ So I walked out on my own — no one was ushering us.”

Squires said that as soon as he and his friends left the scene of the fire, they returned to their acting class for the remainder of the period.

“You couldn’t see more than six inches down the street,” Squires said. “[The smoke] started to move across the street, so we ran back to our class in the Google building directly across the street.”

Though the Fire Department of the City of New York reported that there was one non-life threatening injury due to the fire, Account Director for Chelsea Market Brandon Levesque said in a statement to WSN that the fire was quickly controlled and that no injuries were sustained.

“The safety of our visitors and tenants is our greatest concern,” Levesque said. “No injuries have been reported and we are working with the FDNY to ensure that the situation remains under control.”

Email Miranda Levingston and Coco Wang at [email protected]