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Queens fire tears through several businesses, multiple people injured, FDNY says

There was a roof collapse in one of the buildings, Assistant Chief Anthony De Vita said. 

Firefighters respond to a five-alarm fire in a

Firefighters respond to a five-alarm fire in a strip of commercial buildings on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, Queens, on Thursday. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Several businesses in Queens were in flames early Thursday morning, injuring seven firefighters and five civilians, the FDNY said. 

The five-alarm blaze started shortly after 2 a.m. inside a restaurant on Queens Boulevard, near 45th Street, in Sunnyside. When firefighters arrived minutes after receiving a call, it had already spread to adjacent buildings, Assistant Chief Anthony De Vita said. 

“At this time, we have six businesses affected by the fire,” De Vita said at about 6:45 a.m. 

The roof of the commercial strip collapsed, likely because of a backdraft, the chief said. 

“With the amount of fire and heat and with the right amount of fuel and oxygen, sometimes you have a smoke explosion, a backdraft which is basically an instantaneous ignition of smoke and heat and gases,” he said. 

All the injuries were not life-threatening, the FDNY said. The fire was placed under control at about 8 a.m.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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