UPDATED 6:55 PT – Thursday, December 10, 2020
Around 40 New Yorkers were left homeless after a massive fire scorched multiple buildings in Queens.
The massive six-alarm fire ripped through at least six buildings in Queens, which destroyed businesses and displaced dozens of people.
According to reports, the blaze erupted around 1 a.m. on Thursday in the Queens, Richmond Hill area. Officials said the fire ignited in ‘Angel’s Beauty Salon.’ They added once the salon caught flame, the blaze quickly grew within minutes.
Queens *3rd Alarm* Box 9633. 109-25 Jamaica Ave. Heavy Fire in A Row Of Mixed Occupancies extending throughout the cockloft pic.twitter.com/eNjI7ouqPJ
— NYCFireWire (@NYCFireWire) December 10, 2020
“The business was closed up and it quickly extended into a common area that runs above the ceiling in these type of old frame structures,” New York City Fire Department Assistant Chief John Hodgens stated. “Once it gets in there we have to try to get ahead of it.”
More than 200 firefighters responded to the scene. At least three firefighters suffered minor injures, while no civilians were reportedly injured.
The blaze took around 3 hours to contain, but in that time sufficient damage was already done. Several businesses and at least 40 residents, who lived above the storefronts, have been left without their property and homes.
40 people are homeless this morning after a 6-alarm fire in Richmond Hill along Jamaica Ave and 110th Street. Thankfully on 3 firefighters with minor injuries. The cause is under investigations @ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/O5fWM2Njk7
— Candace McCowan (@CandaceMcCowan7) December 10, 2020
“I was sleeping and my wife woke me up,” one resident said. “I immediately took my kids outside.”
Residents could be seen gathered across the street while looking at the destruction in disbelief.
“I thought we’d go in and salvage something and get something back, but everything is covered,” resident Indira Sukhram stated. “Everything’s burnt, everything is destroyed. It’s terrible.”
Victims were eventually able to take shelter in MTA busses to protect themselves from the cold. Officials said the decimated area is uninhabitable.
“These businesses are going to be displaced,” FDNY Battalion Chief Jim Carney noted. “You know the entire building… right now is uninhabitable.”
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.