Multi-alarm fire tears through building in East Harlem

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Monday, January 23, 2023 10:59AM
Stores damaged by multi-alarm fire in East Harlem
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The fire appears to have started in the Exodus Transitional Community Center on Third Avenue. Shirleen Allicot reports.

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A four-alarm fire burned through a commercial building in East Harlem early Monday, injuring five people.

The fire broke out inside the building on Third Avenue just after 12:30 a.m. and spread through the roof.

The flames grew to a fourth alarm before firefighters were able to place the situation under control, about three hours later.

Four firefighters and one civilian were taken to Harlem Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

The building appears to house a furniture store on the first floor and the Exodus Transitional Community Center on the upper floors.

A worker or cleaner may have been inside the building and notified firefighters.

All three floors are commercial, no one lives in the building.

It is an older building, and when the roof started to collapse, firefighters decided to battle the blaze from outside.

Residents of the building next door were temporarily evacuated due to smoke. They will be allowed to return later in the morning.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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