A three-alarm inferno ripped through a Greenwich Village apartment building Monday afternoon, leaving four firefighters injured.
FDNY responded to a report at around 6 p.m. on April 19 at 142 Bleecker St., where the 2nd floor of an apartment building was set ablaze.
Plumes of smoke rose from the apartment building just above GMT Tavern. Several firehoses zigzagged beneath scaffolding and outside dining structures were pushed aside in order for FDNY to access the scene. Several trucks lifted first responders onto the roof and into the second story inferno where firefighters could be seen smashing out the widows, creating ventilation.
According to FDNY sources, 140 firefighters responded to the scene.
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The acrid smell of smoke lingered in the air while crowds gathered and watched the firefighters burst into the lower restaurant lugging power saws.
“We saw all the trucks coming here and realized the building was on fire,” said Diana, who works at the Red Lion, which is located adjacent to the fire on Bleecker Street and Thompson Street.
At first, Diana and her co-worker Celso smelled something burning, and then they were surprised to see a black cloud of smoke emit from the building.
“It’s been such a hard year,” Diana said, “It’s really sad, we are all supporting each other and now he [the GMT Tavern owner] won’t be able to open.”
Celso looked up in shock, remembering that a similar fire occurred in the area about five years ago. “It’s just been so bad this year with the pandemic and now this fire,” he said, hoping that the business and everyone in the building are okay.
Over the course of an hour, responding FDNY units managed to quell the fire but smoke was still visible wafting through the fractured windowpanes.
Catherine Sullivan saw the smoke from her apartment building with her son, Aiden.
“We saw the smoke from our building and went outside to see the fireman in action,” said Catherine Sullivan.
While her son, Aiden, was interested to see firefighters work, Sullivan was taken aback to witness the building where she had frequented, GMT Tavern, ablaze with flames.
Judith, a Lower Manhattan resident, shared that GMT Tavern is a well-known and highly regarded establishment in Greenwich Village. She recalls that hearing that the second floor of the apartment building was closed off due to construction.
“GMT Tavern was a big asset to the Village. They were wonderful neighbors,” Judith said, who was walking down the street when she noticed the smoke billowing from the building. “It was really upsetting to see the smoke coming from the second floor,” she added.
Officials erected a remote command center and flew drones over the charred exterior. After several hours FDNY officials remained on the scene.
FDNY sources told amNewYork Metro that four firefighters were injured, three suffered minor injuries while it is reported one was removed with serious but non-life threatening wounds. All four were taken to local hospitals.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.