By Daniel Massey
One firefighter was injured last Thursday battling a two-alarm blaze that began in the basement of a brick house and quickly spread to the first and second floors of the two-story structure.
The unidentified firefighter was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center to be treated for back strain, Deputy Chief Robert Busch of Division 14 said.
Fire broke out in the basement of 108-48 64th Rd. in Rego Park shortly before 3 p.m. Nobody was in the house at the time and there were no other injuries, Busch said.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation, said Fire Department spokesman David Billig.
Ariel Khanimov was listening to music in an attached home next door at 108-46 64th Rd. when he heard what he described as a “clicking sound” of windows breaking.
“I saw smoke coming from the basement and called the Fire Department,” he said. “I came outside and a huge flame was covering the whole house.”
The Fire Department arrived at 3:03 p.m., four minutes after Khanimov’s call. By 3:21 p.m., they sounded a second alarm as the fire spread to the first floor and a second floor foyer. The fire was under control 43 minutes later.
Maurice Janison stood in front of the burned house that had been his home for three years. He said he was at work when the fire broke out.
As smoke continued to rise from the wreckage, family and friends joined Janison at the base of the front stoop with looks of disbelief on their faces.
Janison would not comment on the fire, except to acknowledge that it had started in the basement. He refused assistance from a Red Cross representative who arrived on the scene shortly after the fire was extinguished.
A fire marshal investigating said a brick wall between Janison’s home and Khanimov’s attached home prevented the fire from spreading next door.
Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.