NY 1 - July 25, 2012by Kristen Shaughnessy
More than 200 firefighters were called to the scene.
At one point, the fire grew to seven alarms for relief purposes.
"The smoke it looked like a tornado. Yes. It was very dense. Completely black. Whole neighborhood was black," said one resident.
"You cough and everything. The smoke, I couldn't breathe that well so you had to go inside your house," said another resident.
No civilians were injured though two firefighters were treated and released.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
FDNY Deputy Chief John Pappa, who was on scene for more than 15 hours overseeing operations, says he expects the department to have firefighters monitoring the site through the week.
"We have had some extensive roof collapse in different parts of the building," Pappa said. "There are nine interconnected buildings. Some parts are still intact. Fire is burning underneath the roofboards but it hasn't burned through enough for our water to make a difference to put it out. Either it will burn through so we can get to it or we will put enough water on it for roof to get to possibly cause roof to sag and we can get to it that way."
Authorities suspect construction materials in the building could be to blame.
Crews were forced to shut down J train service in the area due to smoke conditions.
Service has been restored between Broadway Junction and Parsons Boulevard in Queens, but trains are still bypassing the Crescent Street Station.