Three People Injured in Smoky Manhattan Building Fire

NY Daily News - May 03, 2020

by ELIZABETH KEOGH

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A smoky fire tore through the basement and first floor of a Manhattan apartment building that houses a number of employees from nearby hospitals Saturday afternoon.
Three people suffered minor injuries in the Upper East Side blaze, including a firefighter.

The blaze broke out at 12:55 p.m. in the basement of a five-story building on E. 70th St. near York Ave., steps from New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
A third floor resident at the end of her fellowship at the hospital said smoke alarms sounded in the building’s hallways.

“I ran down the stairs. Smoke was billowing out of the first floor,” she told the Daily News. “I saw some of my neighbors coming down the fire escape.”
When the smoke alarms went off, Rob Ortiz, 31, ran downstairs from his fourth-floor apartment to the street.

“It’s disconcerting. A lot of hospital employees live in this neighborhood,” said Ortiz, a hospital employee. “At the end of the day you want to make sure you have somewhere safe to come home to.”

Officials said 168 fire and EMS personnel were dispatched to fight the blaze, which was put out just before 4 p.m.