Dec. 20, 2023 By Bill Parry
The FDNY battled a massive 5-alarm fire at a Sunnyside apartment complex that broke out at around noon and took more than four-and-a-half hours to bring under control.
The first call was received at 12:02 p.m. after the blaze broke out on the top floor of a six-story apartment building located at 43-09 47th Ave. bringing 25 units and 106 firefighters and EMS personnel to the intersection of 47th Avenue Greenpoint Avenue a block south of Queens Boulevard.
The fire spread rapidly through a cock loft to neighboring apartments drawing an even greater response by the FDNY. A fifth alarm was transmitted at 1:15 p.m. bringing the total number of units to 44 with 198 firefighters and EMS personnel.
Fourteen civilians suffered minor injuries and two police officers were injured trying to help residents evacuate the complex.
“We transported several civilians to area hospitals with non-life threatening conditions,” FDNY Assistant Chief Cesar Escobar said. “And we had a firefighter who was transported to an area hospital in serious but stable condition.”
FDNY officials said there was “very heavy damage throughout the building” and 450 residents from 108 apartments are currently displaced. The American Red Cross is supporting a reception center operated by NYC Emergency Management located at the Children’s Lab School, located at 45-45 42nd St. in Sunnyside. The facility will provide a warm space for displaced residents to connect with Red Cross caseworkers.
The FDNY deployed six tower ladders to battle the blaze and finally brought it under control at 4:35 p.m. Operations continue at the scene to tamp down hot spots and fire marshals are investigating the origin of the inferno.