Tag Archives: blaze

Five-alarm fire engulfs Jackson Heights commercial building, injuring nine


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Riyad Hasan

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO 

Updated 1:55 P.M.

A five-alarm fire broke out Monday night at a Jackson Heights building that houses a college and several businesses, leaving nine injured.

The blaze was reported about 5:45 p.m. on Monday, April 21, at the 74-09 37th Ave. building’s third and fourth floors, the FDNY said. By 10 p.m. it had grown to five alarms, with 44 units and around 200 firefighters responding. It was finally under control at about 11:40 p.m., according to fire officials.

An FDNY spokesman said nine people sustained minor injuries as a result of the fire, including seven firefighters and a police officer. The ninth victim, according to published reports, was a child from a nearby building who was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

The community’s “biggest immigrant service provider,” Queens Community House, an LGBT senior center, Plaza College and about 50 other offices, stores and businesses were located inside the fire-damaged structure, according to Councilman Daniel Dromm.

“This is a devastating fire for our community,” Dromm said. “I have spoken to the business owners, many who I know personally, and the effect on their establishments is truly horrible. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. We will rebuild and come back as a better and stronger Jackson Heights.”

Charles Callahan, president of Plaza College, said classes were not in session when the fire began and he has not been informed of the cause of the fire on the partially vacant floors.

“All faculty, staff and students were safely evacuated from the building,” a post on the school’s Facebook page said. It added there will be “no services of any type” at the college Tuesday.

Plaza College, which has about 750 students, has been located in the building since 1971 and has been planning to move to Forest Hills in September 2014. Classes were expected to begin in May.

However, at the moment, school officials are surveying nearby sites to find a temporary location for the school until September.

“We want to help students ensure that they aren’t misplaced. I’m sure we’ll get through this,” Callahan said. “My heart goes out because this has been my home for all these years.”

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation and firefighters were still at the scene as a precaution as of Tuesday morning, according to the FDNY.

 

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Two toddlers die in Far Rockaway home fire


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Updated Monday, April 21, 3:35 p.m.

Two 4-year-old siblings died early Easter morning in an accidental fire at a Far Rockaway home, according to the FDNY.

Firefighters responded to a one-alarm fire in the basement of a Bay 30th Street home at about 11:56 p.m. Saturday and the fire was under control by 1:17 a.m., officials said.

The cause of the blaze has been determined to be an accidental fire due to a child playing with fire, according to the FDNY.

Five people were removed from the two-story home, including 4-year-olds Jai’Luni Tinglin and Aniya Tinglin, who were taken to St. John’s Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

The two toddlers were half-siblings, according to the NYPD.

Another 4-year old girl, Jai’Luni’s twin sister, was taken to St. John’s Hospital and is in stable condition. A 55-year-old woman was transported to Jamaica Hospital and a 63-year-old man, identified by police as the kid’s grandfather, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center. Both are listed in stable condition, cops said.

An FDNY officer was also transported to a nearby hospital with minor and none life threatening injuries, fire officials said.

According to a report published on the New York Post’s website Monday, the FDNY said that ambulances were delayed in responding to the deadly blaze.

“We are looking at the timeline and why it happened,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said, according to the Post.

 

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3-alarm fire breaks out in South Richmond Hill home, damages second house


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Sara E. Diaz

A blaze broke out at a home in South Richmond Hill Sunday afternoon, damaging a neighboring home.

The fire started about 11:25 a.m. at an occupied residence on 120th Street and grew to a three-alarm blaze 20 minutes later, the FDNY said. It was under control by about 12:35 p.m., according to fire officials, but not before damaging an adjacent house.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the blaze is under investigation, the FDNY said.

 

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Firefighters battle two-alarm Hollis blazes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FDNY

Two separate two-alarm fires broke out within an hour of each other in Hollis Tuesday night, the FDNY said.

More than 100 firefighters and 25 units were called to a blaze at a home on 191st  Street near 109th Avenue, about 10:30 p.m.

On a night where temperatures dipped into the single digits, the fire was caused by a space heater, starting on the second floor and spreading throughout the house, according to the FDNY.

One person who was inside at the time of the fire escaped without injuries. No one else was hurt in the blaze, fire officials said. It was under control by 11:40 p.m.

A vacant home on 198th  Street near 104th Avenue in Hollis caught fire about 11:30 pm., the FDNY said.

Twenty-five units and around 100 firefighters were also called to the two-alarm blaze.

The fire, which was contained to the home’s basement and first floor, was under control by 1:15 a.m.  No one was injured, fire officials said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

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7-year-old boy dies in East Elmhurst fire


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News

A New Year’s Day fire in East Elmhurst left a 7-year-old boy dead and a 13-year-old with second-degree burns, police said.

The blaze broke out about 9 a.m. Wednesday at a home on 90th Street near 31st Avenue, when sparks from a fireplace ignited nearby blankets and pillows, then spread to the furniture, according to the Fire Department. It was under control about an hour later.

The FDNY said the fireplace didn’t have a spark screen and there were no working smoke detectors in the house.

The 7-year-old, identified by police as Christopher Miller, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 13-year-old, who, according to published reports, is his older brother, was taken to Cornell Hospital with second-degree burns, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police said an adult family member suffered smoke inhalation in the fire.

Three firefighters also sustained minor injuries, according to the FDNY.

 

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Deli owner bereft after Flushing blaze


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Nineteen firefighters and two civilians were seriously injured after a raging three-alarm fire tore through a four-story home in Flushing early this week, fire officials said.

“It was like a possessed building,” said nearby neighbor Charles G., who did not want to give his last name. “It was a stubborn fire. The fire on the top just refused to die. It kept flaring up in different spots. Even though they put tons of water up there, it kept coming back.”

Flames engulfed the entire multiple family dwelling at 143-01 45th Avenue near Bowne Street at around 2:55 a.m. on Monday, August 20, the FDNY said. Officials said the blaze was controlled by 5:56 a.m.

The two civilians suffered injuries from smoke inhalation and were sent to area hospitals in serious but stable condition, authorities said. Two firefighters were treated and released at the scene, while the other 17 were taken to nearby hospitals. Their conditions were unknown as of press time, an FDNY spokesperson said, but they were all recently released.

Multiple reports say the fire started from a laundromat on the ground floor, but fire officials said the cause is still under investigation.

The raging embers also totaled a five-year-old deli located adjacent to the gutted corner house, leaving business owner Jasvinder Marwaha staring stunned at the debris hours later.

“It’s finished. Everything is gone,” said Marwaha, 50, who owns Indo Pak & American Grocery. “I have a family of three kids and a mortgage I have to pay.”

Marwaha, whose store was closed at the time of the early morning fire, said he could not guess how much money in damages the fire incurred because he was not allowed to go inside yet.

 

Douglaston home destroyed by fire had $1,000s in violations


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

A Douglaston home under renovation, ravaged last week by a three-alarm fire, had incurred a laundry list of complaints and racked up thousands of dollars in violations, according to city agencies.

The 39-12 Douglaston Parkway dwelling received 44 complaints since March 2008 from callers saying the ongoing construction work being done at the site exceeded the scope of the approved permit, according to the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

All complaints were listed as closed, according to the agency, but homeowner David Wei Huang was also pinned for two violations from the DOB and 17 from the Environmental Control Board (ECB). Of those violations, nine were still outstanding, according to the DOB, and were related to the ongoing construction.

Huang was issued a $2,500 fine when construction at the site was found not to be in compliance with approved plans and another $1,200 for failing to safeguard the public and his property. There were other violations for working with an expired permit, the DOB said.

Permits were first issued by the DOB to extend the building horizontally in September 2009, the department said.

The unoccupied home went up in flames last Tuesday, August 14 at around 7:30 p.m., the FDNY said. No injuries were reported.

Bystander Thomas Perrino said he heard three explosions from inside the house, which he said sounded like gas tanks exploding.

The entire building was already swallowed in flames before more than 100 firefighters from 33 units extinguished the blaze by around 9:30 p.m. The infrastructure of the home’s second floor had completely caved in at that point, said the FDNY.

The fire was deemed accidental, according to a spokesperson for the fire department, and was caused by construction work being done with pipes and torches.

Huang could not be reached for comment.

— With additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen

3-alarm fire engulfs Douglaston home


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

More than 100 firefighters battled a blaze at a home on Douglaston Parkway last night.

The fire erupted at 7:50 p.m. at the Douglaston home that was under construction and unoccupied at the time.

“I told the Fire Marshal I heard three explosions,” said Thomas Perrino, of Little Neck.

The explosions sounded like a gas tank, he said.

Thirty-three units and 143 firefighters responded to the flames that completely engulfed the private home.

Firefighters had the 3-alarm blaze under control by 9 p.m.  The fire was contained to the single home, though neighboring homes experienced minor damage.

The FDNY said no major injuries were reported.

— With additional reporting by Terence Cullen

Jamaica fire kills one


| brennison@queenscourier.com

A deadly fire broke out late Wednesday night leaving one dead in Jamaica.

The blaze at a residence on 120th Avenue left a 69-year-old woman dead. The woman was found after fire fighters responding to the fire extinguished the flames. EMS pronounced the woman dead on the scene.

The investigation of the fire’s cause is ongoing.