9 hurt as MTA officers rescue residents from burning building in Queens

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Darla Miles reports from Long Island City right near the toll plaza (WABC)

Firefighters and MTA Bridge and Tunnel officers rescued more than a dozen people from a fire in Long Island City, Queens Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out in the basement and first floor of a four-story apartment building on 51st Avenue between 10th and 11th Street just after 6:30 a.m.

MTA officers were preparing for a security checkpoint at the Queens Midtown Tunnel administration building when they noticed flames and smoke at the rear of the apartment building two doors away.

They kicked in the front door to begin rousing residents. After safely bringing everyone out of the building, they also evacuated residents from the apartment buildings on both sides of the fire.

Seven firefighters and 2 MTA officers were injured during the rescue. No civilian injuries were reported.

"We saw heavy flames and smoke as we approached, and we started knocking on doors and kicking doors to get the people out," said Bridge and Tunnel Sgt. Kris Owens. "Everybody seemed to be sleeping and disoriented, and some people came out in their nightclothes. Within a few minutes we had the building cleared. We got everybody out safely. I'm glad we were there."

The fire was sparked by an appliance in the basement. There were no working smoke detectors in the building.
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queens newsfirefdnyLong Island CityNew York City
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