ORBIS NEWS - independent preview
division of the UPI - Electronic edition * ISSN10932887
May 3, 2006 - Updated 10/3/06

From my "executive" desk at 1-H, 549 Riverside Drive, NYC
at the Columbia University building
by Josef Schrabal

Just above the desk of Josef Schrabal. - The closet with piping for 1-G is at the lower-left corner. - (Photo js 4/29/2006)

Sometimes about on April 28, 2006 a plumber was ordered to repair the cold water supply for neighboring 1-G, plumbing being located in the wall of a closet of 1-H. In my absence, the building manager let the plumber in.
The plumber completed his "welding" process of pipes at 4 P.M., leaving in a hurry, to get home that Friday.

The NYC Fire Department responded within minutes and commenced its work at 4:15 P.M. succeeding of saving the entire building from destruction by fire - only 12 units on line G and on line H were totally destroyed.

The question still remains: did the plumber restore the cold water for 1-G ?
From the "executive" desk of Josef Schrabal (Photo js 4/29/2006)


UPDATE: FIRE REPORT
On September 27th, 2006, the NYC Fire Department released Report #2006-10367 on the Incident #1-0425 (as reported by 903288 John H. Newell BC15) on five pages describing in more details, in its own language, operations of each of the 15 FFU (Fire Fighting Units).

At 549 Riverside Drive, Manhattan, New York, on April 28, 2006 arriving about at 16:38:19 the following (15) FF Units RS01, DC06, RA01, E076, E037, BC16, L028, DC03, E041, E047, EO30, BC11, E080, L023 and L040 were fighting the fire and cleared about at (various times) 19:10:42.

The fifth page of the report summarizes the incident:
FIRE IN PIPESHAFT BETWEEN "H" LINE AND "G" LINE OF APARTMENTS STARTED BELOW 1H CAUSED BY TORCH USED TO SWEAT PIPES.
EXTENTION TO 2H AND 2G, 3H AND 3G, ENTIRE H AND G LINE OPENED UP ON ALL FLOORS.
L40 VES ON FIRST FLOOR - L23 VES ON 2ND FLOOR
L30 VES ON 3RD AND 4TH FLOOR - SQUAD 41 VES ON TOP FLOOR
E37 HANDLINE TO 1ST FLOOR ASSISTED BY E80
E69 HANDLINE TO 2ND FLOOR ASSISTED BY E80
E47 HANDLINE TO 3RD FLOOR ASSISTED BY E76
ORIGINAL FAST TRUCK LADDER 30 REPLACED BY L28
INJURIES: FF McCORMACK AND HAYES E80, PIER E47, . - (End of the report)

Only a portion of the rear room apt. 1-H was destroyed by the fire while part (bathroom, kitchen, foyer and living room) was not damaged at all - yet tenant Schrabal was left out of the apt. 1-H for about SIX months.
While apt. 1-H was under the exclusive control of the landlord (Columbia University) the apt. was vandalized (probably twice), ransacked and most of valuables stolen. (NYPD report #989 Det. Shannon, 26th Detective Squah)