Four-alarm fire guts Harlem apartment house, injures 17 firefighters (UPDATED)

Fire at 357 West 115th Street,
More than a dozen firefighters were injured while battling a four-alarm fire at a Harlem apartment building on Jan. 30, 2021.
Photo by Steve Sanchez

Seventeen firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling a four-alarm inferno that engulfed two floors of a Harlem apartment building on Saturday morning, the Fire Department reported.

The blaze broke out at about 7:29 a.m. on a frigid Jan. 30 inside the first floor of the six-story residential dwelling at 357 West 115th St.

According to the Fire Department, the flames quickly extended from apartments on the first floor up to the second level. That prompted the first responding FDNY units to call for additional help.

“Our first units arrived in four minutes. Upon arrival, they had an advanced fire on the first floor of a six-story multiple dwelling. The fire quickly extended to all floors all the way up to the top floor,” said FDNY Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson.

Firefighters survey the damage in Harlem.Photo by Steve Sanchez

Thirty-nine FDNY units with about 200 FDNY and EMS personnel responded to the four-alarm inferno. No civilian injuries were reported, and it’s unclear at this time how many families were displaced by the blaze.

“Firefighters operated as usual with great determination, it took a while to extinguish this fire, but they did a great job,” Richardson added.

The 17 injured firefighters were taken to local hospitals for treatment, according to FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Christopher Bilz.

The blaze was brought under control at about 10:10 a.m., according to reports. The FDNY marshals will determine its cause.

Updated on Jan. 30 at 2:05 p.m.

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