A two-alarm fire last night caused extensive damage and one minor injury to City Council Candidate Alicka Ampry-Samuel‘s office, 47 Belmont Street in Brownsville.
The smoky blaze was called in at 9 p.m. and brought under control at about 9:50 p.m., according to a FDNY spokesperson.
Samuel could not be reached at post time, but stated in a Facebook post that the fire occurred while she was away from the office celebrating Father’s Day with friends and family when she received notice that her campaign was on fire.
“When I arrived I saw about eight fire trucks and Belmont was full of smoke. Luckily no one was hurt or injured. Material possessions can be replaced. Thanks to the FDNY for taking control and helping me through the process until they had to pull off. –The Race Is Not To The Swift Or Strong But To Those Who Endure To The End– just another obstacle, another hurdle. We got this,” said Samuel in the post.
The FDNY spokesperson the fire is under investigation to determine the cause, but at this time there is no reason to believe it is suspicious.
Ampry-Samuel is considered one of the frontrunners in the 41st District City Council Race to succeed term-limited City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy. The district includes Brownsville, and parts of East Flatbush, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
There are currently at least six candidates trying to get on the Democratic Primary ballot, and who have been busy gathering the 450 signatures needed to do so by the July 13 deadline.
The political races in this part of Brooklyn over the years have been rife with allegations of illegal activities. This includes Assemblywoman Latrice Walker‘s charge that supporters of her political rival, Mealy, glued the locks of her campaign office doors shut and slashed the tires on her campaign van when the two ran against each other for district leader a few years back.
The two lawmakers (Mealy and Walker) also reportedly had a physical confrontation in Albany more than a year ago during the annual Black legislative caucus weekend.
Walker is the major supporter behind Ampry-Samuel’s campaign, and KCP, the only media outlet giving regular coverage and resources to the race, has already received rumors from several sources in the district that supporters of one of Ampry-Samuel’s opponents started the fire, or that Ampry-Samuel’s team might have caused it to figuratively add a spark to her campaign.
But the FDNY spokesperson stressed initial reports are that the fire was not arson.
“The fire marshals are very good at putting the pieces of the puzzle together to determine the cause of the fire, but aside of the location, there is nothing to consider this a suspicious fire,” the spokesperson said.