Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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Five-Alarm Fire Tears Through Bronx Block

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TWC News: Five-Alarm Fire Tears Through Bronx Block
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Fire investigators in the Bronx are looking into the cause of a massive fire that tore through an entire city block, destroying a line of businesses and displacing more than a dozen residents.

The New York City Fire Department says flames broke out just after 6 a.m. inside a shed located at 226th Street and White Plains Road in Wakefield.

FDNY officials say the five-alarm fire spread quickly to neighboring businesses and a storefront mosque.

Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles.

Firefighters doused the flames from all angles, including the elevated train tracks, and finally brought the fire under control just before 10 a.m.

As a result, service on the 2 and 5 trains were suspended in both directions between Gun Hill Road and 241st Street. Now, both subway lines are still bypassing the 225th Street station.

The MTA says the Bx39 bus was making nearby station stops.

"The fire spread from the garage into the stores on White Plains Road, got under the roof and then spread from store to store to store as it went up the block," said FDNY Chief Edward Kilduff.

"Somebody was knocking on my door and then the next thing I know I heard cars exploding, like you just heard boom, boom and then you come outside and you see all the fire, like it's horrible," said one displaced resident.

Fire officials say among the minor injuries was an 11-year-old girl who was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital.

Ten firefighters were also treated for minor injuries.

Locals said the loss of an entire block of businesses will greatly affect the quality of life in their area.

"You have a mosque right there and a deli, a men's store, a laundromat and you have another deli at the corner at 226th. It's not good, it's not good for the neighborhood," a bystander said. "It's going to take a long time for them to rebuild."

The Red Cross says about 24 apartments were damaged and are still trying to determine how many people have been displaced.

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