Firefighters trying to bring a two-alarm blaze under control in a Hell’s Kitchen apartment on Wednesday afternoon had to fight hoarder conditions to even get in the door, authorities said.
The fire broke out at about 1:45 p.m. inside the 11th floor apartment of a Tenth Avenue building, near 51st Street, said Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala, the Manhattan borough commander. It took about an hour to bring the fire under control, Gala said.
“We had a heavy fire in one apartment, heavy smoke conditions, a tough time getting into the apartment due to a large amount of clutter that was in the apartment behind the door,” he said. “We were able to force entry into the apartment, move in without hose lines and extinguish the fire.”
Gala said that two people suffered minor smoke inhalation, including the woman who lived in the burned apartment. She was outside the apartment when firefighters arrived, Gala said.
The corner apartment appeared charred with several windows broken about two hours after the blaze sent smoke into the air. The bottom of the balcony above appeared black.
Firefighters searched 27 floors above where the fire broke out to be safe, Gala said, and residents were allowed to go back into the building.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.