Astoria apartment fire caused by overloaded extension cord: FDNY

File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A fire in an Astoria apartment building that injured six people on Tuesday, Sept. 6, was caused by an overloaded power strip, according to FDNY officials.

Firefighters were called to 42-13 23rd Ave in Astoria just before 8 p.m. on Sept. 6 after receiving reports of a fire. Two people had already jumped from the building. By the time firefighters arrived, the flames “were out the windows,” said NYFD Deputy Chief Mark Cuccurullo.

Firefighters determined that the fire was on the second floor of the three-story building and the 60-person crew began working on the blaze which was placed under control in about 30 minutes, according to a spokesperson.

Another four people were rescued from the building, including a mother and her newborn baby, according to reports. The baby was first retrieved by firefighters from a rear fire escape before the mother was helped.

One witness on the block saw a man climbing down a fire escape before he fell from the second story and appeared to break his leg, according to news reports.

Five of the six patients were transported to area hospitals. One patient was treated on scene but refused transport, according to a spokesperson. All injuries were non-life threatening, according to officials.

Fire marshals determined that the fire was accidental and electrical, caused by an overloaded power strip. Officials warned people not to use extension cords for large appliances.

“FDNY urges New Yorkers to never overload extension cords with multiple items, appliances, or power strips. Never plug one extension cord into another and never use an extension cord with an air conditioner or a large appliance such as a refrigerator,” said officials.