The FDNY indicates the final flame is under control. Now, the investigation can begin.
The fire broke out around 1pm Tuesday on the sixth floor of the 133-unit building on 89th Street and 34th Avenue. Flames can be seen coming out of the apartment windows, as smoke spills onto the street.
“That’s a ton of smoke. I saw it from my window one block away, ”said neighbor Marta Schlitzer.
The fire commissioner said preliminary reports showed the tough fight for firefighters could be avoided.
“The occupant ran away but kept the door open. Over the years, we have emphasized the seriousness of that. If you happen to have a fire in your home or apartment, it is important that you close that door, as the fire has spread to the corridor, ”said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
The flames then moved north.
“The flames rushed into what we call a cockpit, the area in the middle of a roof. Those fires tend to spread quickly. This did, it sank the entire cockpit of the A-wing. “
Fire officials said 21 people were injured, including 16 firefighters. All injuries are not expected to be life-threatening and all residents are taken into account.
“I was panicking. I don’t know who to call, ”Keyla Cardenas, 10, told CBS2.
The 10-year-old girl was at home when a neighbor told her to evacuate. She grabbed her dog and escaped.
“I feel worried and sad because it’s the only home we have, and now we don’t know where to go,” she added.
Around the area around the fire, volunteers distributed food and supplies to displaced residents.