It was just about 6:15 Thursday morning when smoke began pouring from a small garage surrounded with multi story apartment houses and a block long row of businesses including the area’s only mosque.
About an hour later flames and thick black smoke had spread damaging 11 buildings. A five-alarm brought more than 200 firefighters to White Plains Road and East 225th Street to battle the out of control inferno.
Subway trains that roll past the fiery scene were halted because of the blinding smoke and flames which danced dangerously close to the elevated tracks.
Scores of people had to be evacuated from damaged apartments as flames roared through storefronts along White Plains Road.
The Red Cross says it will provide emergency shelter for 18 people left homeless by the blaze that completely gutted neighborhood shops whose owners were shocked at the level of destruction.
As late as 10 pm Thursday, firefighters continued to battle pockets of fire that had erupted.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time. Fire marshals don’t believe it’s suspicious.
Five-alarm fire devastates Bronx neighborhood