Two civilians and seven firefighters were injured by the fire, which broke out around 6:40 p.m. and reached 5 alarms by 8 p.m. The injured were taken to New York Downtown Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Noemi Gutierrez, visiting from California, said she witnessed an argument between two men in front of the building just minutes before she noticed it was on fire.
Gutierrez told PIX11, “When people started coming out of the building, we heard an argument between two individuals – two men. There was one man who looked like he was upset, standing in front of the door, looking like he really didn’t want anyone coming inside of the building. He was letting people out of the building, but it seemed like he had a harder time letting people inside the building.”
“I don’t know how the fire started. I just came back – and now I have no home,” said a woman named Sandra who returned home to see her building in flames.