Scores of firefighters battled a raging house fire early Saturday in Elmhurst, Queens that claimed the lives of at least three people.
Firefighters received an alert at 5:37 am. and arrived at the scene a couple of minutes later, according to Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson.
The blaze in the three-story home quickly rose to a third alarm, bringing 33 units with 140 fighters and EMS personnel on the scene.
“We had a large volume of fire on all three floors of the building,” Richardson told reporters. “In the process of our searches, we have confirmed 3 DOAs [dead on arrival] in the building.”
Eight people reportedly lived in the building, and two of those people are currently unaccounted for. The three bodies were found on the upper floors of the house.
“We do not know if they were working, if they were in the building,” Richardson added.
The fire was so extensive that it caused the roof to collapse onto the top floor, which caused a second collapse to the floor below that.
Four people were injured during the search and rescue — two civilians and two firefighters, all of whom suffered “minor injuries,” amptenare gesê.
The injured persons were taken to local hospitals, according Chief of EMS Operations Steve Russo.
“Early on in the fire, we had a firefighter making access to the building, fell through a hole in the floor,” Russo said. “He was quickly self-evacuated from the building with minor injuries.
The fire was contained shortly before 8 am.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, though it appeared to start on the first floor.
The department will continue to search the wreckage for the missing persons as well as the cause of the fire.