NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of firefighters were on the scene of a massive fire that broke out in Queens early Sunday morning.
The fire broke out at a two-story multiple occupancy building on Liberty Avenue near 111th Street shorty before 11 p.m. Saturday, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
As of 12:05 a.m., the response was up to seven alarms. Crews worked through the night, finally getting the blaze under control at around 3 a.m.
One woman who was in the kitchen of a nearby restaurant said she smelled something burning and ordered her customers to get out of the store.
“I tell everybody ‘go, go, go!’ Everybody go!” she told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.
Authorities said the fire spread quickly because the fire got in the space between the top floor and the roof.
“The store was on fire and we were looking for trapped people on the second floor, and conditions rapidly deteriorated — one of our members of Ladder 143 got cut off and he was trapped up there and needed to jump out the second floor window,” FDNY chief James Leonard said.
The firefighter sustained minor injuries from the jump and is expected to recover, WCBS 880’s Myles Miller reported.
Eight buildings were severely damaged, and four of them completely collapsed in the back.
Authorities said there are no fire escapes on the buildings, which house commercial stores on the first floor and apartments above.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but authorities say it is not considered suspicious.