An all-hands fire ripped through a three-story apartment building on a shopping strip in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon, injuring two people and leaving six people homeless, fire officials said.
Neither injury was considered life-threatening. One person was taken to Kings County Hospital for smoke inhalation, while the person suffered a minor head injury and refused medical attention.
The fire broke out just after 2 p.m. in 1 East 19th Street, a three-story brick building with a grocery store on the first floor. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire blowing out of the second floor and spreading to the third floor.
Several residents had fled to the roof where firefighters had them stay for the duration of the fire. One resident sat on the floor just across from the fire. He said the rear bedroom suddenly burst into flames and he couldn’t explain it.
“I was in the apartment with my roommate when suddenly there as a fire in the back room – I wonder if someone did something or tried to break in from the fire escape,” he said.
The fire raged into the third floor, the flames so heavy that it burned the wall of a neighboring building. The fire was brought under control in 40 minutes, but by then, two apartments were heavily damaged. No firefighters were injured in the blaze.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known and was under investigation by fire marshals.