A two-alarm fire broke out Sunday on the same block as the PrideFest celebration, injuring nine firefighters — two of them seriously.
The blaze on Hudson Street broke out in the ceiling above TAVO restaurant at about 3:20 p.m. and spread to the second floor of the four-story building, said FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard. It was brought under control just over two hours later.
Four firefighters were taken to Lenox Health Greenwich Village where they were treated and released, Leonard said. The rest suffered minor injuries.
Leonard said the injuries were smoke and heat related, and firefighters had to wear masks at all times due to “very high levels” of carbon monoxide.
Firefighters needed saws to cut holes in the ceiling, Leonard said.
“It was very difficult for our members to open up the ceiling,” Leonard said. “It was very hot and very crowded today coming in here.”
At least 25 units and more than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze.
The flames broke out along the PrideFest street fair, which drew vendors and performances, including an appearance by LeAnn Rimes.
But the flames and lingering smoke didn’t put a damper on the festivities — the party and music was still going a block over.
Witnesses said the crowds remained calm as the fire broke out and firefighters responded within minutes. Ciana Charity, 26, who was working as a PrideFest volunteer when the fire started, said the smoke was billowing out from the building.
“The windows were closed, and all of a sudden we saw smoke pouring out of the building, like two or three floors were engulfed by in smoke,” she said. “They shut down this one block, but everything else kept moving with the festival. It’s pride, you can’t just shut down pride.”
Charity said firefighters broke through the windows to battle the flames.
Andy Hill, 42, who was running a booth one block over when the fire started, said there was a lot of smoke but no one panicked.
“One fire is not going to kill the spirit of today,” he said. “Last year we were celebrating marriage equality, this year there was a real resistance spirit out there, it’s just too powerful of an atmosphere for this to dampen it.”