Contractor arraigned in connection with large fire in Elmhurst building that injured 11

Thursday, April 13, 2017 07:36PM
ELMHURST, Queens - A contractor is under arrest in connection with the five-alarm fire that injured 11 firefighters in Elmhurst, Queens, on Tuesday night.

More than 200 firefighters responded. 11 suffered minor injuries.

Fire Marshals arrested contractor Declan McElhatton, 53, of Maintenance Asset Management in Yonkers.

McElhatton was arraigned Thursday night on charges of arson, reckless endangerment, and violation of the fire code.

If convicted he faces up to four years in prison. Bail was set at $50,000 bond/$30,000 cash and the next court date is April 27.

The cause of the fire was an open flame in close proximity to combustibles.

The flames broke out around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday between the roof and ceiling of the seven-story building on 94th Street.

The FDNY used a drone in their efforts to tackle the rooftop fire.

"The tragedy here though is extensive damage to 112 apartments," said James Leonard, FDNY Chief of Department.

On Wednesday, 112 units remain vacated. The Red Cross has registered 67 families; 15 of those families needed emergency housing.
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