The incident happened just after midnight at a two-story building on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.
Two firefighters were injured and transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
44 units and 200 firefighters were called in to put out the flames.
The FDNY says the old building construction with tin ceilings made it difficult for members operating to access to extinguish the stubborn fire and a transition to exterior operations was necessary to protect the neighboring structures.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
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