1010 Wins - August 23, 2011NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The air throughout much of one Queens neighborhood was choked with thick, black smoke Monday as firefighters battled a persistent fire that injured four and displaced two households.
A 4-alarm fire broke out around 5:30 p.m. Monday at 112-12 Jamaica Avenue, a commercial building, near 113th Street in Richmond Hill. Firefighters were still on the scene late Monday night battling pockets of fire.
The flames broke out in the ceiling of a business where construction was being done.
The blaze left three firefighters and one civilian with non-life threatening injuries -- all four people have been hospitalized, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.
Six businesses were also destroyed in the fire and an apartment connected to the building had to be evacuated.
The Red Cross said that nine adults and two children were displaced and are being provided emergency housing.
About 200 firefighters battled the huge fire. Chief of Department Ed Kilduff said there was a very close call for his men at one point.
"A smoke and fire explosion occurred. It pushed the ceiling down on the members that were operating inside. The incident commander felt that members might be trapped under the ceiling debris," he said. "We eventually got the firefighters out."
Fire marshals are talking to construction workers, who were in the ceiling of the building, to see if they had possibly started the fire.