The lady and I were finishing a run when we turned onto Franklin just after 8:00 PM and found the avenue packed with fire engines and ladder trucks. Two of the ladders were extended to the roof of the century-old block between Lincoln and St. John's on the east side, and a sizeable crowd had gathered. The fire itself was out when we passed, but it had completely gutted the top floor of 787 Franklin, an apartment.
All of the firefighters I talked to (it was at least a two-alarm blaze, maybe three, based on the number of trucks on the scene) said that everyone got out unharmed. The FDNY also did a great job protecting the rest of the block--lights on in the apartments below and adjacent to the blaze suggested that damage was minimal (though I'm sure water damage will hurt the folks below). No one from FDNY on the scene knew the cause of the fire, which inspectors will determine later tonight.
While I'm sure they're thankful that no one was hurt, I feel terrible for whoever lost their place and everything in it. If anyone knows the residents and can suggest any way to help, please post it here or on Brooklynian.