UPDATED April 12, 10:20 a.m.
Heavy smoke and flames engulfed the top of an Elmhurst apartment building during a five-alarm inferno on Tuesday night that displaced scores of residents and left nine firefighters injured.
The blaze ignited at about 6:30 p.m. on April 11 on the upper levels of the seven-story building on 94th Street near 56th Avenue, just a couple of blocks away from the Queens Center Mall. Flames spread rapidly through the cockloft, a small area between the ceiling and rooftop.
A plume of acrid black smoke could be scene for miles around. Hundreds of nearby residents poured out of their homes and crowded the streets to watch firefighters work to bring then blaze under control.
The FDNY deployed a drone to assess the fire damage and found that all 10 apartments on the sixth floor sustained significant damage, WABC-TV reported.
According to the American Red Cross, 112 units inside the building remain vacated. It is providing relief to 144 adults and 31 children in 67 families, 15 of which required emergency shelter at nearby P.S. 13.
“Our caseworkers are continuing to work with families and connect them with additional emergency assistance and support them with next steps,” according to Red Cross spokesperson Michael de Vulpillieres.
The FDNY reported on Twitter that the blaze was brought under control at about 10:32 p.m.; the cause is under investigation.