Heavy fire vents through the roof while firefighters get a hose-line into operation during a five alarm fire at 617 West 141 Street in Hamlition Heights, Manhattan on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Firefighters battled a stubborn, five-alarm fire in Hamilton Heights early on Saturday morning that engulfed an apartment building, leaving nine people — including two firefighters — injured.
Dozens of tenants at 617 West 141st St. were also displaced as a result of the massive inferno, which broke out on the sixth-floor at about 1:40 a.m. on Dec. 3.
Arriving units were met by heavy fire conditions in multiple top floor apartment encountered along with fire through the roof in the A and B wings of the building, according to FDNY officials.
“We found fire on the top floor, which is the sixth floor, that was already pretty advanced,” said FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens. “The fire quickly extended into the space above the ceiling and the roof which we call the cockloft. The fire rapidly spread throughout the building eventually leading to a fifth alarm.”
The intense fire bringing in more than 200 firefighters to contain the blaze. Fire Department personnel battled the blaze from above working through thick smoke and fire using saws to open up the roof and ventilate the toxic smoke.
All operating personnel were briefly evacuated from the building over safety concerns of a top floor collapse. A tower ladder was put into operation to knock down a majority of the fire.
Seven residents and two firefighters suffered minor injuries and were treated, according to Hodgens. The city’s Emergency Management Department is also working to find shelter for the displaced residents.
The fire was finally brought under control at about 6:03 a.m., according to the Fire Department. FDNY marshals are now investigating the fire’s cause.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.