Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, two New York beach communities, suffered major damage following Superstorm Sandy. Not only did the area suffer extensive flooding from Sandy’s storm surge, but a fire broke out as near-hurricane force winds hammered the tip of New York City’s Queens borough.
Because this area was flooded, firefighters couldn’t get to these beach communities in time. Sadly, many homes as well as the Harbor Light Pub were torched. The fire damage included:
- About 12 homes destroyed in Belle Harbor
- An estimated 110 homes burned to the ground in Breezy Point, and about 20 others suffered residential damage due to the blaze
- A 32-year-old Rockaway Park restaurant suffered commercial property damage as the structure was demolished in the fire
The fire was believed to have started around 9:00 p.m. on Monday, October 29, 2012, on 129th Street. Because of the wind gusts at around 79 mph, the fire kept spreading from home to home, engulfing one house and then the next. A video, “Whatever wasn’t flooded was on fire,” produced by NBC and Matt Lauer showed the devastation in this Queens’ community.
Homes were completely leveled and foundations and chimneys were all that could be seen after the fire blazed through the area. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. In addition to the fire, many of Breezy Point’s 2,834 homes suffered water damage.
While many people may recover their losses from the fire and wind damage, flood damage is typically not covered under a standard homeowners’ policy.