The flames broke out around 12:30 p.m. on 101st Avenue in Ozone Park and quickly spread.
It took 200 firefighters to get the fire under control, and video from Citizen App showed them on top of the building as flames and smoke spewed from the roof.
FDNY Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson said the fire started in a three-story wood-frame structure with a medical center on the first floor and extended to the two floors above, as well as the adjacent buildings.
"Whenever you have a wood frame structure, because of the combustible construction of the building, we're always concerned when fire spreads early in the operation," Richardson said.
Three apartments with occupants were affected by the fire, and the Red Cross was assisting displaced residents.
One firefighter suffered a non-life threatening and was taken to an area hospital.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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