EAST ELMHURST, Queens – The FDNY is investigating a “suspicious” fire that tore through two houses early Tuesday.
A call of fire at 23-41 91st St. came in around 2 :15 a.m., according to the FDNY. The blaze then spread to a neighboring home and several garages in East Elmhurst. About 150 firefighters responded and put out the flames around 3:30 a.m.
“We’ll deem it suspicious because there was a heavy fire on arrival it will be up to fire marshal to determine if it was incendiary,” FDNY assistant chief Michael Gala said.
Gala said while the cause of the fire is unknown, the rear of the home was under construction and could be possibly be the origin. The FDNY recovered four propane cylinders, still intact, in that area as well.
Six firefighters suffered minor injuries and are being evaluated by paramedics.
Wind also played a role in fanning the flames, according to Gala.
Vu Tran, one of the victims, awoke as the fire began to spread to his home.
“I came running out, saw the fire and got my roommates,” Tran said. “Then it was breaking through the window. The wind was blowing so hard it blew into the side of the house.”
Eight people in both homes were found safe and will stay with family and friends.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the fire marshal.