More than a dozen children suffer minor injuries in Queens fire

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Thursday, January 26, 2023
18 children hurt after fire rips through day care in Queens
At least a dozen children were treated for injuries after a fire at a two-story home at 47-07 72nd Drive 147th St. in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. CeFaan Kim has more.

KEW GARDENS HILLS, Queens (WABC) -- At least a dozen children are being treated for injuries after a fire at a two-story home in Queens.

There was a report of a fire in the basement at the building on 147-07 72nd Drive 147th St. around 2 p.m.

The NYPD said the home had a day care on the first floor and was under control by 2:45 p.m.

FDNY officials said 18 children were removed from the building, including one in critical condition. The other 17 were stable and refused medical attention at the scene.

"Firefighters rescued a pediatric patient from the basement, he was transported to the hospital in serious condition," said Chief of Fire Operations John Esposito

Neighbors said they watched as toddlers were rushed out of the burning home.

"That was scary to see a whole bunch of kids coming out, I saw one in a blanket, that the firefighter took I think, he was running with him," neighbor Annie Philip said.

Phillip said the smoke was so thick, she had to close her door down the block to keep it from filling her home.

A lithium battery was found in the basement but the cause of the fire is under investigation. It is believed an E-bike exploded in the basement, sparking the flames.

"The lithium-ion batteries we've been having problems with, especially with charging them," Esposito said. "The message we want to get out is that you should be using other, regulated certified batteries. Should not be charged in entrance or pathway to leave your apartment. Don't charge overnight. Charge when you're awake, at home, in a closed-door room."

Inspectors with the Department of Buildings said they found two commercial businesses operating in the basement -- a day care and a dental lab.

Violations have been issued along with a full vacate order.

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