Taxi catches fire on Fifth Avenue in midtown, FDNY says

A taxi overheated and caught fire on a midtown street Monday afternoon, police and fire officials said.

The fire started just before 1:30 p.m. outside 435 Fifth Ave., between East 38th and East 39th streets, an FDNY spokesman said.

The driver was making a left from 38th Street onto Fifth Avenue when he noticed smoke coming from under the hood, a source said. He then pulled over and told his two passengers to get out just as a passerby noticed flames coming from above one of the front wheels, the source said.

There were no injuries reported, and the fire was extinguished around 2:50 p.m., according to the spokesman.

The fire stopped dozens of passersby in their tracks, many of whom recorded the flames and posted videos to Twitter.

A spokesman for the Taxi and Limousine Commission said all the passengers in the cab got out safe.

“We are very grateful that there were no injuries associated with the fire,” TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said.

Despite the intensity of the blaze, police said it had a minimal effect on traffic in the area and that all lanes on Fifth Avenue are open.