Man's Body Found in Fire-Ravaged Chinatown Building

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010  |  Updated 6:56 AM EDT
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A 7-alarm fire rips through a Chinatown building.

A 7-alarm fire rips through a Chinatown building.

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The body of an elderly man has been pulled from a Chinatown apartment building that was ravaged by a fast spreading fire, fire officials said today.

Fire Department spokesman Jim Long says the man was found on the top floor of the building just before 8:30 p.m. Monday. The

Medical Examiner is to determine the exact cause of death. Long says the man, who's name was not released, had been reported missing by relatives.

Twenty-four firefighters and three civilians were injured in the seven-alarm fire  that broke out in Manhattan’s Lower East Side Chinatown neighborhood Sunday night, an official with the New York Fire Department told NBCNewYork.

At least 250 firefighters battled the massive blaze which began around 10 p.m. Sunday at 285 Grand Street. It  was put under control at 2:15 a.m., the official said.  Two dozen firefighters were injured, one had his hands burned, officials said.

Fire Chief Edward Kilduff  said two elderly residents were hospitalized in critical condition with smoke inhalation and a third was being evaluated.

The blaze could be seen as far away as the Brooklyn Bridge. The NYPD arson team is investigating.

Officials say the fire started on the first floor of the mixed residential and commercial building and spread through a shaft to the roof before affecting two other buildings. It burned for four hours before being put under control, officials said.

The Red Cross is helping the 50 to 60 families that were displaced, officials said.

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