By Bill Parry
A three-alarm blaze broke out in East Elmhurst early Tuesday morning, tearing through two homes and three garages. It took more than 100 firefighters from 33 units over an hour to bring the fire under control just after 3:40 a.m., according to the FDNY.
Six firefighters were injured. Two refused medical attention, while four were taken to hospitals where they were treated and released.
Investigators believe the fire began in a garage behind 23-41 91st St. just after 2 a.m. before spreading to the house and then to a neighboring home at 23-37 91st St.
“Wind was a factor in its extension to the home next door,” an FDNY spokesman said. All of the residents made it out safely.
Luisa Tobone lived in the first home with her husband and two children as well as her father. She watched as workers boarded up shattered windows just after 9 a.m.
“Firefighters told me it may have started with a short in the garage and then the wind just made it worse,” Tobone said. “The inside of the house is completely destroyed.”
She said they would move in with family in Woodhaven until they could “get back on our feet.”
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr