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Frightening Fire At TGI Friday’s Causes Panic On 5th Avenue

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A fire at a TGI Friday’s restaurant near Rockefeller Center was under control on Saturday morning, but not before causing panic on 5th Avenue.

As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, it was a frightening scene on Friday night, as flames shot out of the building.

“We looked and saw the black smoke. It was crazy,” witness Bob Cattin said.

When thick, black smoke, and tall flames break out on a street as famous and crowded as 5th Ave, it also sparks an explosion on social media.

Dramatic video taken from a nearby skyscraper showed flames shooting out of the top of the six-story building that houses the TGI Friday’s between 48th and 49th Streets.

Around the corner near Rockefeller Center, witnesses ran up the block to get a closer look.

“There was smoke all over the rooftop and a very bad smell and it got bigger and bigger and bigger on the rooftop,” Mariana Sanguinetti said.

Witnesses said that the massive FDNY response was remarkably quick. At least 106 firefighters and 25 units in the area caused several blocks of 5th Avenue to be shut down, and patrons had to be ordered out of stores and restaurants.

“They put it out really fast, but then they kept coming because they were evacuating people,” Sanguinetti said.

Investigators say the blaze broke out in the restaurant’s kitchen and that flames and smoke raced through the building’s ductwork.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury, there was no word on what sparked the flames.

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