Two Separate Five-Alarm Fires in Queens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Firefighters battled to contain a fire in Queens as flames leaped through the roof. (Published Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010)

    Queens is burning.

    Two five-alarm fires ravaged the borough yesterday, putting firefighters to the test on a swelteringly hot day.

    In the first one, more than 200 firefighters battled a five-alarm fire in blazing heat for nearly two and a half hours Wednesday before finally getting it under control.

    Fifteen firefighters and one EMT suffered mostly minor injuries at the blaze near the Elmhurst area before it was contained shortly before 1 p.m., the fire department says. Heat played a major role in those injuries, none of which were critical or life-threatening.

    Only a few firefighters had to be transported to nearby hospitals, fire officials say.

    The fire was reported at around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, and by noon it had spread through the upper floors of the seven-story residential building and through the roof. Residents were evacuated.

    A second five-alarm fire raged in the Bay Terrace neighborhood, sparking up at around 2:20 p.m. in another seven-story apartment building on Bell Boulevard. Fifteen firefighters suffered mostly heat-related injuries, officials said. Seven residents suffered minor injuries.

    Water pressure did not seem to be an issue in either case, but residents and officials across the tri-state area have been urged to cut down on water usage amid another day of scorching 90-plus degree temperatures.