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FDNY battles massive five-alarm fire at a Richmond Hill warehouse

fire
More than 200 firefighters battled a massive five-alarm fire in Richmond Hill. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

More than 200 firefighters battled a massive five-alarm fire at a plumbing and electrical warehouse in Richmond Hill Wednesday evening, according to FDNY.

fire
More than 200 firefighters battled a massive five-alarm fire in Richmond Hill. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

The blaze broke out at 138-18 101st Ave. at around 6:45 p.m. on March 30, and the first units began arriving on the scene three minutes later, finding heavy smoke conditions at the one-story commercial building that housed a shop and an industrial warehouse. Firefighters were forced to conduct a defensive attack due to the threat of a structural collapse, according to the FDNY.

Firefighters had to deal with water pressure issues with the hydrant mainline, according to FDNY Acting Chief of Department John Hodgens, but the Department of Environmental Protection solved that and FDNY used five hose lines to battle the blaze. There was a second challenge, as personnel struggled to arrive on the scene, due to parked cars blocking access to arriving units.

fire
More than 200 firefighters battled a massive five-alarm fire in Richmond Hill. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

“Sometimes we have to move cars,” Hodgens said. “We usually use tow trucks and we also use our own equipment to move them. We need to get the apparatus close to the building to be effective.”

He added that the warehouse did have a partial collapse to parts of the interior.

The fire went to five alarms, dispatching 44 units and more than 200 firefighters and EMS personnel. Five tower ladders were deployed and the blaze was brought under control at 1:11 a.m. Thursday morning, with two minor injuries to firefighters. One was transported to an area hospital and the other was treated at the scene, according to an FDNY spokesman.

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Heavy fire vents through the roof of a one story commercial building at 138-18 101 Avenue. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

An investigation by the FDNY fire marshals office into the cause of the inferno is underway.

Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.

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