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UPDATE: Eight-alarm blaze in Jackson Heights apartment building injures 25 people

Over 200 FDNY members battled a fire in Jackson Heights on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

A massive, eight-alarm fire broke out inside a six-story apartment building in Jackson Heights Tuesday afternoon, burning through the night and sending over 20 people, including 19 firefighters, to the hospital.

Firefighters first got a call about the blaze, which broke out inside an apartment on the top floor of the building located at 89-07 34th Ave., around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, according to the authorities.

When FDNY units arrived, the door to the apartment where the fire originated was open and the fire had spread to the hall and into the area between the ceiling and the roof, known as the cockloft, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

“Those fires tend to spread rapidly,” Nigro said in a statement.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

As the fire burned inside the building, it began to spread into a small section of the building next door, located at 89-11 34th Ave., the FDNY said.

The blaze was upgraded to a seven-alarm fire, prompting response from 46 units and over 200 FDNY members. At around 8 p.m., the fire was upgraded again, this time to an eight-alarm, sending over 300 FDNY members to the scene.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

In total, 25 people – 19 firefighters and six residents – were injured by the flames. All of the injured firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to the fire department. Two of the residents were also taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The other four people refused medical attention at the scene.

The blaze was brought under control a few minutes after midnight, 11 hours after it first began, according to the FDNY.

In his statement, Nigro stressed the importance of closing the doors if a fire happens to break out in your apartment or home.

“If you do unfortunately have a fire in your home, it’s important to close that door because the fire spreads out into the hallway and [FDNY] units are unable to make a quick advance,” the commissioner said. “What we see here is now a seven-alarm that could possibly have been avoided.”

Around 240 residents of the Jackson Heights building were displaced as a result of the fire. The American Red Cross of Greater NY, which was on the scene, provided emergency housing in hotels for around 80 families living inside the building.

Anyone impacted by the fire who has not yet connected with the Red Cross can call 877-RED-CROSS, and hit “option 1.”

This story was updated at 9:50 a.m., on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. 

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