Fire Destroys Landmark Maspeth Restaurant

NY 1 - May 03, 2011

A 5-alarm fire leaves one of Queen's oldest restaurants in ruins.

The fire broke out early Monday morning at O'Neill's on 53rd Drive and 65th Place in Maspeth.

It took nearly 200 firefighters three hours to bring the fire under control.

Fire department officials say it started when a deep fryer overheated in the basement kitchen, causing a flash fire.

One of the restaurant's workers shot amateur video just after the fire broke out.

The FDNY says no one in the restaurant was injured, and 13 firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

"The neighbors were coming out and they were devastated to see something like this happen," said George O'Neill, the restaurant's owner. "They were in tears, it made me in tears too."

The deli next door was also destroyed. O'Neill's has been in business since 1928.