KEY POINTS

  • Firefighters are still battling the fire
  • It is believed to have begun on the building's sixth floor
  • The fire marshall will determine its cause once they can enter the building
  • Responders on the scene will probably stay there through the night

A massive fire is currently enveloping an apartment building in Queens. Around 400 firefighters have already been called to the scene to extinguish it.

A total of 21 people, 16 of whom are firefighters, have sustained injuries in the fire, The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala said as per FDNY's Instagram post. Officials confirmed that their injuries are not life-threatening.

Gala explained that the building has over a hundred apartment units and is home to over 200 people or about 90 families. Red Cross has begun helping the displaced residents.

FDNY claimed that the fire had started on the topmost floor of the six-story building. The occupant of the unit where the fire had begun reportedly left the door open when they evacuated. Because of this, the fire spread into the hallway and rapidly moved throughout the building.

"Everybody was panicking, all you see is the smoke. When you came out of the building, you couldn't see anything. it was just all gray," Edwin Martinez, one of the building's occupants, told WABC.

What exactly triggered the fire remains unknown, AP News said in a report. But according to fire officials, the fire marshal will try to determine the cause of the fire once they can get inside the building.

FDNY is still outside the apartment building fighting the fire. In its Instagram post, it described the operation as "very complicated and prolonged." It also indicated that the first responders who are currently on the scene will probably stay there overnight.

While giving updates on the fire, fire officials have taken the opportunity to remind the public about the importance of closing doors in the event of a fire. According to them, closing the door will keep the fire from spreading.

This massive fire comes only a month after a 17-year-old boy set their New York family home ablaze while his family was still inside. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire. As for the boy, police charged him with arson.

Firefighters Representational picture of firefighters putting out a fire. Photo: David Mark/Pixabay