7 FDNY, 2 residents injured in East Village Apartment Fire

WABC - October 03, 2018

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Nine people including four firefighters were hurt in a six-alarm fire in the East Village early Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out on the first floor of a five-story apartment building on 1st Avenue just after 1:45 a.m.

Flames spread to a small section of rear of the building, which partially collapsed and could safely not accessed by firefighters.

"Much of the roof on the first floor extension has burned away, but because of the collapse hazard we can't get in there. And that's the problem, why we can't put this fire out right now," Chief James Leonard, FDNY Chief of Department.

They poured water on the small section, waiting for the roof to collapse so they could fully extinguish it.

Until then, the smoldering section spewed heavy smoke that prompted firefighters to evacuate four adjacent buildings.

Seven firefighters were treated for minor injuries, mostly smoke inhalation. Firefighters were also treated for heat exhaustion. One resident suffered a moderate injury and another suffered a minor injury.

As the smoke spread, firefighters recommended the Education Department close two nearby schools so students would not be exposed to the smoke.

Those school include East Side Community High School at 420 East 12th Street near 1st Avenue and P.S. 19 at 185 1st Avenue near East 12th Street.

As a result students will be redirected to nearby schools, according to City Councilperson Carlina Rivera.

Meanwhile, East 7th to East 14th streets are closed between Avenue A and 2nd Avenue.

The Red Cross is housing 13 residents after five nearby apartment buildings were evacuated due to the smoke in the area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.