The fire was mostly contained to a fifth floor storage area at 280 Broadway, but was kept to a minimum by the building sprinkler system that a requirement in all commercial buildings over 40 feet high, including city-owned buildings.
No injuries were reported, though traffic on Broadway at Chambers Street was snarled for nearly an hour.
The fire went to an “all-hands” bringing in more than 50 firefighters on scene, who conducted a search throughout the building and were able to establish that the offices were safe to return. There were few workers in the building because of the Presidents Day holiday.
DOB officials did not respond as to how much damage the offices may have incurred.
The building, the former newspaper headquarters for the New York City Sun from 1833-1950, still has the original clock on the building, but hasn’t worked in years. The City Sun was resurrected from 2002 to 2008 by investor Conrad Black, but then shut it down. The Department of Buildings later established their headquarters in the building. The building was made a landmark in 1986.
At one point, firefighters were unable to remove a hose that was connected to a fire truck. Efforts to remove the hose resulted in the hydrant exploding from underneath, causing a geyser in front of the building. It was quickly controlled, though DEP would be called to repair and hydrant.