The fire broke out on the first floor of the Murray Street building inside a restaurant just before 7 p.m.
"The flames started low and then they climbed so fast to the top. And then there was like crazy black smoke like way high up," a witness said.
The massive blaze engulfed the five-story building on Murray Street.
The smoke blanketed the sky.
UPDATE: 1 firefighter injured, hit by 6 ft. hook FDNY uses to collapse ceiling. Taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries, laceration. pic.twitter.com/nUzydtNNy1— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) September 2, 2017
"I just smelled mad smoke coming into through the door," a resident said. "It started to billow out through the windows on the sides."
"It started on the first floor we believe in the duct work in the restaurant. That duct work ran up through the middle of the building. As the fire continued up it broke out on each floor," said Chief Roger Sakowich, FDNY.
Officials don't believe anyone was in the building on the upper floors.
11 firefighters suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation to lacerations.
Meanwhile, in the basement there is a target range possibly filled with ammunition.
"Since the basement was not involved in the fire we didn't bother to search it yet," Chief Sakowich said.
The chief says there was never any concern of the fire reaching that ammunition because firefighters were able to quickly cut off the flames to the lower level.
But just imagine, what if these firefighters couldn't do that in time.