QUEENS, N.Y. - The New York City fire department says the cause of a massive fire that tore through six buildings in Queens on Sunday was electrical and accidental.
A half-dozen homes and a beloved grocery store were left scorched after heavy winds whipped the four-alarm fire near the corner of 80th street and 101st Avenue in Ozone Park.
“My uncle said they didn’t even realize right away because it started from the second floor, so it took some time to come to the store," said Mohammad Kamrul, whose family business was destroyed in the fire.
The FDNY says an off-duty firefighter happened to be walking by at the time, and jumped in to help.
A few minutes later, more than 200 firefighters arrived to put out the blaze.
Eight people suffered minor injures, including four firefighters, but all are expected to be okay.
"The fire went to a fourth alarm in about 15 mins from arrival, which is very quick we had an expanding fire and we had to try and stay ahead of it," said FDNY Chief Thomas Richardson.
Dozens of families were left with no place to sleep.
Two of the buildings were completely destroyed by the fire. One is the home of Ozone Park Supermarket, a neighborhood staple serving the Bangladeshi community for the last 11 years.
"Everyone is feeling very bad. Everyone is very sad about the store. There is a big Bangladeshi community around this neighborhood and and it was a Bangladeshi store," Kamrul said.
The Red Cross says they are providing emergency financial assistance and putting up displaced families in hotels.
The FDNY is reminding New Yorkers during the winter months to check smoke alarms and be mindful of space heaters.