FDNY: Overheated electrical box caused fatal fire

May 6, 2010 9:10:29 AM PDT
New York City fire officials say an overheated electrical box is to blame for a fatal seven-alarm fire in Chinatown last month that burned for more than four hours. The April 11 blaze killed one person; injured 33, including 30 firefighters and emergency personnel; and left 200 people temporarily homeless. More than 250 firefighters battled the fire.

Fire marshals said Thursday that sparks from the metal junction box started the fire. The box had connected the electrical cables that fed power to the residential and commercial building.

The fire started on the first floor and spread through a shaft to the roof, then to three other buildings.

City records show the building had several violations, including blocked passageways.