A Times Square Billboard Went Up in Flames and Somehow Continued to Display Ads

Illustration for article titled A Times Square Billboard Went Up in Flames and Somehow Continued to Display Ads
Screenshot: Twitter

The New York City Fire Department responded to a report in Times Square on Saturday after a billboard went up in flames. In video of the incident, the billboard could be seen spilling debris as it continued to flash ads for data collection, which seems about right for our digital dystopia.


A spokesperson for the FDNY told Gizmodo by phone that it received a call about the incident at 3:07 p.m. local time, at which time firefighters responded to the scene.

Roughly 80 firefighters and 25 units were on hand to battle the blaze and conduct a building search, which the spokesperson said did not turn up any issues. The sign was turned off, and the fire is currently under control.

One of the ads displayed in a widely circulated video of the fire was for a partnership between Skyy Vodka and Trixie Mattel for the brand’s “Proudly American” ad campaign. The latter honestly seems to be taking this pretty well, all things considered.


“Keep your loved ones close and your billboards closer today,” Mattel tweeted Saturday.

According to the FDNY, there were no injuries and no damage to the building itself. The spokesperson said it was not immediately clear on Saturday how the fire started.


This story is developing and may be updated throughout.


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