Two firefighters injured after two-alarm East Village fire guts storefront

A two-alarm East Village fire on Monday evening damaged a neighborhood stationary store and left two firefighters injured, sources reported.

The Fire Department said the inferno ignited at about 4:36 p.m. on Jan. 10 inside 47 Avenue A, which is the home of the Essex Card Shop, which sells stationary, novelty items, plush toys and art supplies.

The first units arrived on scene within 90 seconds of receiving a call, and were met with heavy smoke emanating from the building. They also encountered heavy fire on the first floor. 

The gutted storefront of 47 Avenue A.Photo by Dean Moses

Firefighters broke through the storefront which was pouring with smoke and worked their way over fallen aisles to access the fire. Fellow firefighters handed two hoses into the scene. A remote command center was also set up.

The two smoke-eaters injured while battling the blaze received treatment at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

The store owner, Jay Patel, reported no other injuries, but his store was practically destroyed after surviving much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I smelled smoke. There was nothing in the front and then I went in the back and saw the fire. I tried to put it out but I couldn’t,” Patel said. “What can we do? Nobody got hurt.”

Asked about his plans for the future, Patel responded, “Right now we are focusing on when the fire is put out, then look in the basement.”

Firefighters brought the blaze under control at about 5:45 p.m. on Monday. The cause is now under investigation.

Firefighters battle the blaze. Photo by Dean Moses
Firefighters extending the hose linePhoto by Dean Moses