By Patrick Donachie
Flames engulfed a pair of buildings in Jamaica Monday morning and badly damaged both structures as five firefighters sustained minor injuries fighting the blaze, the FDNY said.
The Fire Department received reports of a fire in a two-story private dwelling at 175-01 Liberty Ave. at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 175th Street at about 9:30 a.m. According to the FDNY, the fire started on the first floor of the building. The department responded with 33 units and 138 fire and emergency services personnel.
At the scene, the two buildings appeared to be residential. On the right side of the two structures were an auto repair shop and a scrap metal yard. Dennis, an employee at an auto repair shop across the street, was unloading a truck in the shop’s parking lot when he heard the rush of oncoming sirens.
“I heard the noises of the sirens and saw smoke and flames,” he said, He was hopeful that since the fire had occurred during the workday, perhaps no one was home at the time.
The FDNY could not confirm if anyone had to be evacuated from either of the two structures, but did say that there were no reports of injuries to civilians.
The right side of one of the buildings was practically gutted by fire as firefighters in ladders sprayed down the embers. The other side of the connecting building seemed relatively intact, the blue paint still clear on the exterior.
The FDNY was investigating the cause of the incident, an FDNY spokesman said.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona