JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens — A massive fire in a Queens apartment building Tuesday was finally placed under control just after midnight Wednesday, the FDNY said. Firefighters worked for 11 hours battling the blaze that left hundreds without a home.
Officials said Wednesday that about 10 minutes went by before 911 was notified of the fire, giving the blaze time to spread.
Twenty-one people, including 16 firefighters and five civilians, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to fire officials.
The roof of the residential building could be seen collapsed when AIR11 flew over the scene Wednesday morning.
The American Red Cross of Greater NY said they helped to provide emergency housing in hotels for approximately 80 families, or about 300 people, on Tuesday night.
The fast-moving fire ripped through the residential building and left around 300 homeless, according to the FDNY and American Red Cross.
The Red Cross said they helped to provide emergency housing in hotels for approximately 80 families Tuesday night.
The organization said they will continue on Wednesday to work with the affected families and provide additional assistance and resources. Anyone impacted by the fire who has not yet connected with the Red Cross should call (877) RED-CROSS.
Flames first broke out in an apartment on the top floor of a six-story building on 34th Avenue, near 90th Street, in Jackson Heights around 1 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
As the fire grew, 46 units and approximately 400 emergency and fire personnel responded to the scene.
Commissioner Daniel Nigro explained that the fire spread so easily due to a door in the building being left open after flames broke out.
“The occupant fled and left the door open. We’ve stressed over the years the seriousness of that. If you do unfortunately have a fire in your home, it’s important to close that door because the fire spreads out into the hallway and units are unable to make a quick advance,” he said Tuesday.
Since the fire department wasn’t immediately notified, the delay in response coupled with the open door gave the fire an opportunity to spread quickly, Nigro said.
Fire officials were still on the scene Wednesday morning as the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the Tenant Association, who has vowed to give the funds to the families impacted by the fire.
Fire safety tips can be found here: https://www.fdnysmart.org/safetytips/