12 Hurt, Including 7 Firefighters, As Blaze Rips Through Sunnyside Businesses
A #Massive fire swept through a row of stores in #Queens early Thursday, sparking at least one explosion and leaving a dozen people with minor injuries, officials said.
The blaze started inside one of the businesses on Queens Blvd. near 45th St. in Sunnyside about 2:10 a.m. and quickly spread to neighboring stores., an FDNY spokesman said.
As of 7:30 a.m., more than 200 FDNY personnel were still fighting the blaze.
Residents reported several explosions, possibly from cars that caught fire. At least one explosion enveloped firefighters in a cloud of smoke.
“Thinking about all the Queens Blvd businesses lost overnight in the #Sunnyside fire,” State Sen. Mike Gianaris, who represents the area, tweeted. “Our community will do what it can to help rebuild.”
The #Fire spread to adjoining stores after it reached the shared space between the ceiling and the roof, an FDNY source said.
“We got a hold of it for now, but it’s still going,” the source said. “There are all sorts of hot spots in there.”
Damaged stores included the Sidetracks bar and restaurant, a hardware store and a UPS store. At least one of the buildings collapsed.
Flames threatened to reach a nearby pet store filled with animals, but firefighters were able to douse the fire before it reached the location.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
“We are devastated to see the destruction this morning in the heart of our neighborhood,” Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District tweeted. “Neighbors and friends have so many stories, so many memories on this block. We will be reaching out to our business owners to assist with connecting them to emergency recovery resources.”
As firefighters combated the Sunnyside blaze, a fire erupted on the roof of Public School 160 on Inwood St. in Jamaica.
That blaze broke out about 5:45 a.m. and was confined to the roof, officials said. No injuries were reported.
Building materials from a reconstruction project may have sparked the blaze, officials said.