Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

City Island Historical Society Nautical Museum Expected to Recover From Arson Fire That Damaged it on July 13, 2007

Shortly before 9:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13, 2007, one or more arsonists set a fire on the front porch of 190 Fordham Street, City Island, Bronx, NY. The resultant fire destroyed the entrance to the City Island Historical Society Nautical Museum. According to an announcement posted to the Society's Web site:

"The entrance to the museum was destroyed and there was considerable smoke and water damage to the foyer and the hallway. Fortunately, most of the collection is intact and only minor damage was inflicted on some photographs in the hall and on a skiff near the entrance. The condominium board assures us that insurance will cover most of the damage but we will not be able to reopen to the public for a matter of weeks, if not months."

According to an article in the "Bronx Boro News" section of today's New York Daily News, teenage vandals are suspected to have started the fire while setting off fireworks. See City Island Battles Fire - And Vandals, Daily News, Jul. 31, 2007, p. BW1, col. 3 (Bronx Boro News Section).

The Society facilities could have suffered a much worse fate. According to the same article, typically-heavy Friday evening traffic on the approach to City Island (including City Island Bridge) slowed backup emergency responders trying to make their way to the scene. Sixty firefighters fought the blaze which "caused serious damage to the building's facade but largely spared the artifacts inside." Id.

The museum is located in a building that opened as a public school in 1898, shortly after New York City annexed City Island from the Town of Pelham. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today's article about the fire describes the damage as follows:

"In addition to the front porchbeing destroyed by the fire, the exhibit area suffered smoke and water damage.

One of the 16 apartments in the building also sustained severe damage, and the community center in the basement was flooded from hose water."


A relief fund has been established. Those who wish to contribute to the relief fund may contact the Society at 718-885-0507. Additionally, it appears that the City Island Civic Association plans to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Both the Fire Department of New York and the New York Police Department are said to be investigating the fire as a crime.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home