Thankfully, the fire department responded swiftly and doused the fire in short order. The show ended prematurely with ambulances and cop cars flooding the area. After the fire department deemed the rooftop safe again, the police ordered the crowd of party revelers to vacate the premises. Many of the local residents grew angry and began yelling at the cops. There were no serious injuries, but my father was enraged. He ordered all his men from the social club to clear the streets and get all the people out of harm's way. The neighbors were understandably disappointed that their spectacular block party was brought to a premature end. Something had to be done with all the leftover food, so hundreds of families went home that night with fresh meats, salads, and supplies to fill up their cupboards.
The people of Ozone Park lined the streets that night and cheered my father as a hero. It was a watershed event for John Gotti, in many ways the beginning of his rise to prominence in popular culture, and the first indication that he was destined to become a formidable figure in the brutal, often unforgiving world of the Mafia.