Photo Courtesy of FDNY
It took approximately 140 firefighters to knock down the stubborn blaze.
By Michael V. Cusenza
A three-alarm inferno swept through an Elmhurst home early Saturday morning, claiming the lives of three residents, injuring two more and sending two City firefighters to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, City Fire officials said.
Firefighters received the call to respond to the three-story 48th Avenue residence around 5:35 a.m. It took approximately 140 firefighters to knock down the stubborn blaze. Two bodies were discovered on the second floor by smoke-eaters; the other body was found on the top floor.
“Our first arriving units were on scene in two minutes and were met with a large volume of fire on all three floors of the building. Following reports of eight residents who lived in the building, we had a Firefighter fall through the floor while attempting to gain access into the structure. That member was able to self-evacuate with minor injuries. In the process of our searches, we can confirm there are three civilian fatalities with two others unaccounted for. The fire is under control at this time and our members will continue to operate and search due to extensive damage and collapse of the roof onto the top floor and another part onto the second floor,” said FDNY Chief of Operations Thomas Richardson.
While the fire is still officially under investigation, sources told NBC 4 New York that fire marshals discovered an accelerant on the property and suspect that the blaze may have been set intentionally.