Updated 01/22/2013 06:52 PM
FDNY Fights Four-Alarm Fire In Williamsburg
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A four-alarm fire at a building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn sent two firefighters to the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
Fire officials said they got a call for a fire in a three-story building at 175 Bedford Avenue just before 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Employees at a bank on Bedford Avenue near Seventh Street said they smelled smoke earlier in the afternoon, approximately 30 minutes before firefighters said they were called.
175 firefighters were called to fight the flames in the mixed-use building, which has a bank on its first floor.
Officials said the building was made of highly combustible wood.
The fire went to four alarms just after 2:30 p.m., according to officials.
A fire official at the scene told NY1 at approximately 3:45 p.m. that the fire was under control.
Two firefighters were sent to the hospital after they caught fire when a burning plaster ceiling fell on them, according to a fire chief.
"The ceiling had numerous levels of the ceiling," said James Leonard, the Brooklyn borough commander of the New York City Fire Department. "It had sheetrock. It had wood. It had acoustical tiles. It had tin. It was very heavy up there. The fire was heavy on that top floor, weakened the area, and the fire collapsed in a lean two fashion, where it came down halfway and pinned our firefighters to the floor."
The two firefighters were pulled out of the building and taken to the Cornell Burn Center. They are said to be in good condition.
After the collapse, other firefighters pulled out of the building, and roll call was taken before they went back in to fight this fire.
EMS treated two civilians for minor smoke inhalation.
A fire official said the fire spread to the roof and to two buildings out to each side.
Each building has a business on the ground floor and apartments on the other two floors, according to officials.
John Thomason, the general manager of Ella Cafe, a business in one of the buildings that went on fire, said his employees were inside the building at the time of the fire.
"No one's probably hurt seriously, and if that's not happening, there's really no reason to freak out," Thomason said. "Depending on the damage, we can maybe go back to work in a couple of days. It may be a week. There's really no telling until we get a good look in there."
NY1 is told that there are at least four apartments impacted by the fire.
Red Cross officials said as of early Tuesday evening, nobody is in need of housing assistance.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.