CHINATOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — A massive fire with heavy smoke and flames shooting out of a window in Chinatown left two people dead and four others injured early Friday morning, according to the FDNY.

Flames broke out on the fifth floor of a six-story building on Mulberry Street just before 4 a.m. The fire quickly spread and a second alarm was raised. 

Video from the scene showed thick smoke pouring from the upper floors of the building when suddenly a fireball shot out of a window on the fifth floor. More than 100 firefighters from 25 units responded to the scene.

The two victims killed were a 91-year-old mother and her 52-year-old son, authorities said. One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene. The other victim was rushed to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Two additional civilians had minor injuries but refused medical attention at the scene, officials said.

One firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of burns. Officials described the injuries as minor. A second firefighter was also injured but refused medical attention at the scene. Fire officials initially said three firefighters were injured.

The fire was brought under control just before 6 a.m.

A number of people who lived in the building told PIX11 News they were lucky to escape because none of the smoke alarms were working. “There are alarms that you can pull. And a neighbor told me they did pull an alarm and nothing was heard,” a resident said.

Authorities are investigating what sparked the fire and will look into what happened with the smoke alarms.

The Red Cross is helping to provide all the displaced people with a place to stay Friday night. No one is sure when they might be able to return to their homes.

The blaze broke out just a few doors down from a building that was ravaged by a five-alarm fire in 2020. The building had stood at the corner of Mulberry and Bayard streets for over 125 years.

Although there were no fatalities during the Jan. 23, 2020 fire at 70 Mulberry St., the flames destroyed the top three floors. Those floors housed an archive unit the Museum of Chinese in America used to store 85,000 artifacts. The building was also home to several nonprofits important to the community.

This story comprises reporting from PIX11’s Shirley Chan.