The fire at Erie Basin Auto Pound, in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood. Photo: FDNY / Twitter
15 Dec 2022

Criminal evidence from three decades destroyed in a storage facility fire


Evidence and DNA samples from crime scenes dating as far back as 30 years may have been destroyed in a fire in Brooklyn. 

The fire started at around 10:30 am EST at Eire Basin Auto Pound. This is a storage facility in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood where the New York Police Department stores evidence, FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said in a press conference. 

According to NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, the building was a police department pound that stored biological evidence as well as e-bikes and cars. 

"DNA, things from past crimes, burglaries, shooting incidents, we have some biological evidence here as well... It's mainly evidence, but we store other things there as well", " Maddrey said at the press conference. 

The evidence dates back between 20 and 30 years. 

Attempts to put out the fire resulted in three members of the New York Fire Department  and three EMS personnel sustaining minor injuries.  

"We attempted an interior fire attack, but the members were overwhelmed by the amount of fire and we had to back all of our firefighters out of the building and go to an exterior attack... at one point, part of the building collapsed.," Chief John Hodgens said in a press conference, according to CBS News. 

The fire was not under control until Wednesday. There is an ongoing investigation as to the cause of the fire. 

An article in the New York Times claims it is unclear exactly how much evidence has been lost: some may have been digitized or photographed and store elsewhere. 

"... Much of the stored evidence would likely have already been photographed and documented and much of the DNA would already have been tested, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter."

Some of the evidence historically stored at the EST at Eire Basin Auto Pound was already destroyed when Hurricane Sandy flooded the area in 2012, according to the same anonymous source.

"It is unclear why the Police Department continued to store evidence there for another decade until Tuesday’s fire".


Photo Credit: The fire at Erie Basin Auto Pound, in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood. Photo: FDNY / Twitter