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Dozens of firefighters battled a fire atop a Greenwich Village building Wednesday evening
Smoke filled a stretch of Broadway south of Union Square as onlookers watched
No residents were injured, but five firefighters suffered minor injuries; several pets were rescued and reunited with their owners
About 200 firefighters brought a large fire under control hours after it broke out in a building south of Union Square Wednesday evening and sent thick smoke into surrounding streets.
Photos posted to social media show crowds of onlookers watching as smoke pours out of a six-story building at Broadway and East 9th Street in Greenwich Village.
The FDNY said the fire erupted shortly before 6 p.m. and many people were still at work. Fire officials believe the fire started in the kitchen of a deli and then traveled up a shaft to the other floors.
Flames could be seen erupting from the roof of the mixed-occupancy building, and the blaze quickly grew to a five-alarm fire.
Firefighters were on the roof, dousing a hole that was spewing flames and smoke. Below, there were at least six ladder trucks with their ladders extended, along with a number of fire engines.
Jake Ayre was sleeping inside his apartment when he woke up to smoke alarms. He got his dog buster and raced for the exit.
"I was nervous because not only is there fire damage, there's smoke damage," Ayre said.
The blaze was brought under control by 8:30 p.m. The FDNY remained at the scene into the night.
No one in the building was hurt, but 16 firefighters suffered minor injuries, officials said. Paramedics checked out some residents as a precaution.
Several pets were rescued from the fire, and a firefighter was seen holding a small dog that was rescued from the building.
Dozens of residents were looking for a place to stay Wednesday night, many of them not sure if their belongings survived the fire. But the pet owners who spoke to News 4 were just grateful all their loved ones made it out.
One woman became emotional as she was reunited with her dog. As for Buster, he's in good condition, Ayre said.
"He's been eating a lot of meat," he said. "He's really into meat."
The Red Cross responded to the scene and said more than 200 households were forced from their home. Only about half of them were allowed back inside, the other half of the building remains evacuated.
The nearby subway station on 8th Street was not available to commuters as the entrances were closed. However, around 5:30 a.m. MTA workers on the scene said uptown R and W are again stopping at the station. Downtown R and W trains are still not stopping there. Those entrances remained roped off.
The downtown side is underneath the buidling where the fire broke out.
Officials did not say what caused the fire.