15 firefighters injured in 3-alarm Queens fire

February 15, 2011 4:04:02 AM PST
Firefighters battled a three-alarm fire in a row of homes in Laurelton, Queens.

The fire broke out at about 4:30 p.m. at 225-06 Mentone Avenue.

High winds caused the fire to spread quickly to four other neighboring homes.

Authorities say 15 firefighters suffered burns but are in stable condition.

"It's a disaster now," said Ruth Walfor, a resident.

She says the smoke and flames didn't destroy her home, she believes the water firefighters used to put out the fire did.

"They totally destroyed this place," Walfor said.

Firefighters were working to stop the flames from spreading.

It threatened several homes on Mentone Avenue.

"You heard a boom, like something exploded," said another resident.

Residents escaped without being injured.

But, the danger was real for firefighters as strong and unpredictable winds fueled the flames, 15 of them suffered burns, but fortunately, are all in stable condition.

The fast moving flames tore through three homes and contributed to damage in two others.

"With the wind we had today, it could have been a lot worse," said Deputy Chief Charles Clarke of the FDNY.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Police did find a badly decomposed body inside a nearby home as they were evacuating people in the area.

The Red Cross is providing temporary housing for 13 adults.

All utilities have been cut to the effected homes. 225-06, 08 and 10 Menton Avenue were severely damaged in the fire.

The investigation is ongoing.