Red Bull Studios Shut Down in Aftermath of Blazing Fire

No one was injured in the five-alarm fire.

Firefighters douse the flames at 221 W. 17th St. Photo: Colleen Krieger, via Twitter.
Firefighters douse the flames at 221 W. 17th St. Photo: Colleen Krieger, via Twitter.

New York’s Red Bull Studios has been shut down due to a five alarm fire that ravaged an adjacent building last week. The gallery’s building at 220 West 18th Street shares a back wall with 221 West 17th Street, the site of the October 20 blaze.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the Red Bull Studios facility, and no one was injured. However, several nearly buildings were evacuated while some 250 first responders battled the inferno.

Firefighters douse the flames at 221 W. 17th St. Photo: Colleen Krieger, via Twitter.

Firefighters douse the flames at 221 W. 17th St.
Photo: Colleen Krieger, via Twitter.

The blaze reportedly started on the fourth floor of the property, known as the Dorian Chelsea Residences, which is currently under construction. Fire department spokesman Michael Parrella assuring the New York Times that the building was not in danger of collapsing, contradicting statements made to the press by FDNY chief James Leonard.

Leonard said that the building’s sprinkler system had been removed during the renovations, and the presence of construction materials provided extra fuel that allowed the fire to spread quickly.

Film still from Freeman and Lowe's film from "Scenario in the Shade," with sound by Jennifer Herrema.

Film still from Freeman and Lowe’s film from “Scenario in the Shade,” with sound by Jennifer Herrema.

The gallery’s webpage for its current exhibition, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe‘s ambitiously sprawling installation “Scenario in the Shade,” was updated on October 21 with the following message:

Due to yesterday’s five alarm fire at the neighboring 221 W 17th Street building, Red Bull Studios New York will be closed until further notice to allow the FDNY unobstructed access in their recovery efforts. Please stay tuned for further updates.

A PR representative for the gallery confirmed in an e-mail to artnet News that while the art was unscathed, sections of the exhibition had to be taken down in order “to give the fire department full access.” The gallery expects to announce plans to reopen soon, and the fire remains under investigation.


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