New York pier fire extinguished after heavy smoke

Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:16pm EDT

(Reuters) – A fire broke out at a New York pier popular with shoppers and tourists on Saturday, sending heavy smoke aloft over Manhattan before firefighters extinguished the blaze with no injuries, a fire official said.

The cause of the fire at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, which hosted a music festival on Saturday, is under investigation, a spokesman for the New York Fire Department said.

It burned an area of wood planks and structure covering about 100 feet by 100 feet, and was extinguished in just over an hour and a half without destroying any stores, he said. A total of about 140 firefighters responded to the incident.

The Howard Hughes Co, which operates the seaport, said it would work with authorities in their probe, adding that plenty of firefighters and police had been on hand because of the festivities, which were given the all-clear to continue.

« The safety and security of visitors to the Seaport are always of the utmost importance, and thankfully there were no injuries in this incident, » Michael Piazzola, senior general manager of the Howard Hughes Co, said in a statement.

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