Firefighters Battle 4-Alarm Blaze in Queens

By Ida Siegal
|  Monday, Aug 22, 2011  |  Updated 10:23 PM EDT
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4-Alarm Blaze in Queens

More than 100 firefighters battled a four-alarm fire in Richmond Hill, Queens on Monday, and several suffered minor injuries.

The fire began at 5:30 p.m. in a commercial establishment at 112-12 Jamaica Ave. According to fire officials, it started in a concealed space between the ceiling and the roof, making it difficult for firefighters to detect and access the blaze immediately.

At one point, eight or nine firefighters entered the building to fight the fire from within, but the ceiling collapsed, nearly trapping them, according to FDNY officials.

Firefighters decided at that point to fight the fire from outside, which slowed their ability to extinguish it at its source.

Well into the evening, firefighters continued to concentrate their efforts in the back of that retail complex.

In addition to firefighter injuries, one civilian was also hurt, officials said.

Investigators are looking into whether construction work being done in the building played a role in starting the fire.

The billowing smoke caused a condition at the 111th Street station on the J and Z line, forcing trains to bypass stops between Crescent Street and Jamaica Center.


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