Hundred Saved From Grain Explosion
By Immediate Eviction in Brooklyn;
Temperature Was Well Below Freezing.
Wheat Waited Quietly for Four Years
But Could Have Blown Up Any Time.
On Sunday in below-freezing weather, over one hundred residents of 475 Kent Avenue, an 11-floor commercial building in Williamsburg, were evicted by City employees on two hours' notice.
The Fire Department issued the vacate order effective immediately because they discovered two silos containing wheat and rats in the basement of the building. The wheat was used for baking matzos. The Fire Department feared that it would explode, although there was no evidence that it was about to. In a New York Post column titled "Matzo Bawl at Building," FDNY Deputy Chief Joe Woznica described the situation by saying, "Residents were living with two large bombs in the basement."