20 Left Homeless in Corona Blaze

Western Queens Gazette - January 30, 2019

Close to two-dozen people were left homeless in frigid temperatures on January 21st as firefighters battled thick smoke and flames to that poured from a home in Corona, a fire spokesperson said.

More than 100 firefighters from 33 FDNY units responded to the three-alarm blaze that started in a second floor apartment at the home at 34-40 100th Street at about 10 p.m. on January 21st.

Eyewitnesses said flames engulfed the wood frame home within minutes, sending resident running to the street. Frigid, whipping winds carried flames to a house next door, causing severe damage to the structure, fire officials said.

Frigid temperatures caused water flowing from nearby hydrants to freeze before it could make it to hoses, forcing firefighters to battle the elements as they extinguished the flames, a fire source said. “Te guys were covered with ice from their heads to their toes,” the source said.

“Some of them had ice cycles hanging from their gear.” Firefighters were able to seek momentary relief from the cold in an FDNY bus that was brought to the scene.

One resident was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, a fire spokesperson said. One firefighter suffered minor injuries and a second firefighter was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Red Cross volunteers were also at the scene, offering temporary shelter and assistance to displaced tenants.

Firefighters had the blaze under control at about 1 a.m., a fire spokesperson said. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the blaze.

–Liz Goff