Sunday, March 5, 2017

5 people injured when a massive 7-alarm fire ripped through a row of businesses in Queens, NYC

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- Five people, including two firefighters, were injured when a massive fire ripped through a row of businesses in Queens overnight.

The fire broke out at about 11 p.m. Saturday and spread quickly from one building to another.

The fire, fueled by heavy winds, went to seven alarms and engulfed ten buildings in all.

The frigid conditions made the challenge that much more difficult for hundreds of firefighters.

A number of apartments were also destroyed, and dozens of residents were left homeless.

Firefighters were able to rescue some residents from the apartments.

One firefighter became trapped and had to jump to safety.

"A store was on fire, and we're looking for trapped people on the second floor and the conditions rapidly deteriorated, and one of our members of Ladder 143 got cut off and got trapped up there and had to jump out the second-floor window," said one firefighter.

No one was seriously injured.

Firefighters remained on the scene Sunday morning putting out hot spots.

The cause of the fire is under investigation


Five people were injured and several buildings were damaged following a seven-alarm fire in Queens Saturday night.

FDNY officials received a call about a seven-alarm fire at 110-14 Liberty Street around 10:52 p.m. in Richmond Hill, police said. Several two-story multi-use buildings and others attached were engulfed in the blaze before firefighters quelled the inferno at around 2:40 a.m.

Five people — including two firefighters and three civilians — were injured, fire officials said. One was taken to an area hospital, and two others refused medical attention. A 60-year-old woman was taken to Jamaica Hospital with minor smoke inhalation injuries, police said.

Firefighters tried to douse the bright orange flames as they spread. At least two were on ladders, while tons of others were on the ground. Displaced residents crowded into a nearby Kennedy Fried Chicken, watching in awe as smoke wafted out of charred windows.

Authorities say 40 residents have been displaced and are all being taken care of by the Red Cross. The organization provided financial assistance to eight families, including 23 adults and eight children, as well as food, clothing and blankets for all.

The nonprofit will connect families affected to further emergency assistance from government agencies over the next few days, a spokeswoman from the Red Cross said.

Roughly 250 firefighters and emergency medical service employees were at the scene, fire officials said.

FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard said cold and windy weather conditions caused the fire to spread and hampered attempts to quell the inferno, which quickly ravaged 13 buildings. Eight of the buildings affected had heavy fire.

He believes the blaze started inside the ACE store, and it's not believed to be suspicious.

Shattered glass and ice covered the streets along Liberty Avenue. Light peeked through the window openings onto caved-in roofs, mangled awnings, and charred debris piled at least six feet high.

Traffic was shut down along Liberty Avenue in both directions, and A train service was halted between Rockaway Boulevard and Lefferts Avenue early Sunday morning. Service resumed with delays just before 7 a.m., with southbound trains skipping 111 Street.

FDNY officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.