JAMAICA, N.Y. (1010 WINS) – A fire broke out in a three-story building on 89th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens early Sunday morning.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney reports
The fire started in the basement, where the building’s super lives, and caused heavy smoke throughout the building, officials said.
Deputy Chief Charles Clark said the fire was roaring when firefighters arrived.
“When we pulled up, we had heavy smoke in the street. People out on the balconies, we had heavy fire condition in the basement,” Clark said.
Witness Pedro Pagon said firefighters rescued people from balconies with portable ladders and others rushed to the basement to rescue the super.
“The super lives in the basement and he was burned. His shoulders were also burned. They were screaming,” he said.
Officials rushed the super to Cornell Medical Center’s burn unit in critical condition. Meanwhile, six civilians and five firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation.
“Everybody was sleeping so the fire got a good headway before people were awakened. By that point, they couldn’t get out of the building,” Clark said.
Luckily for the residents, the fire never extended out of the basement, said Clark, who added that they did not consider the fire to be suspicious.
Nevertheless, Lisa, who lives on the second floor, is still scared.
“I’m still shaking,” she said. “Holy cow, how could this just happen?”