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.