Factory Fire in Queens Rages into the Night, Hundreds of Fire Personnel on Scene

The fire was brought under control around 11:20 p.m., hours after it began

What to Know

  • The fire at a millwork factory on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside was raging for hours into late Wednesday night
  • Fire officials say wood and paint thinners inside fueled the blaze, which reached five alarms
  • Some firefighters had minor injuries, but there were no civilian injuries

A factory fire fueled by wood and paint thinners raged for hours Wednesday, and hundreds of firefighters struggled to put out the mighty blaze on Queens Boulevard before it was finally brought under control. 

It's not clear what sparked the fire inside the millwork factory on Queens Boulevard near 37th Street in Sunnyside just after 7 p.m. But the large amounts of wood, lacquer and paint thinners fueled the fire, according to FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard. 

More than 250 firefighters, EMTs and medics were on the scene of the five-alarm blaze. Four firefighters sustained minor injuries, but no civilians were hurt.

A warehouse fire in Queens was sending black smoke billowing in the sky, seen by commuters in the area, people in Manhattan and even as far as New Jersey.

The FDNY said that the fire was finally reined in around 11:20 p.m. 

The flames and black smoke were visible against the city skyline as the sun set Wednesday, and riders on the elevated 7 subway line and on Long Island Rail Road got a clear view of the fire at the height of the evening rush Wednesday (see social media photos and video below). 

The millwork shop was destroyed, but firefighters were able to save the surrounding shops.

"One business is lost, we feel their pain," said Leonard.

But, he continued, the firefighters "did a bang-up job, they saved three large businesses." 

The blaze was intense when firefighters responded within three minutes of the first 911 call, and the first units that went into the building briefly got trapped by flames behind them, Leonard said. The chief issued a May Day call to alert all firefighters to get out of the building, which they safely did, and the units proceeded to battle the fire from outside. 

The fire response was causing traffic delays on all Manhattan-bound lanes of Queens Boulevard at 39th Street. Drivers are urged to consider alternate routes and allow additional travel time. 

Residents were advised to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.

Fire marshals will investigate the cause of the fire. 

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