Firefighters injured while battling flames at Department of Transportation warehouse in Queens

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
5 firefighters injured while battling blaze at Queens DOT warehouse
Some first responders were hospitalized after hundreds of firefighters worked to battle the fire at a Department of Transportation warehouse in Queens. Tom Negovan has the story.

WILLETS POINT, Queens (WABC) -- At least five firefighters were injured while battling a massive fire at a New York City Department of Transportation building in Queens.

FDNY officials say the five-alarm fire started at around 10 p.m. Monday at the NYC DOT Harper Street Plant, a warehouse and maintenance space located on Harper Street in Willets Point.

The DOT warehouse is home to various equipment and agency vehicles. Video from the Citizen App showed an orange glow lighting up the sky as smoke and flames poured out of the facility.

As the fire grew in size, more fire crews were sent to the scene. Approximately 200 firefighters worked to tackle the flames and they immediately ran into a big problem.

"Due to a low water pressure in this area, it was very challenging for us, but we are very close to the bay, we had our special operations units, and we used engines in sequence, and we drafted water from the bay," FDNY Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante said.

Officials say it took them over four hours to get the fire under control, and firefighters were still dealing with hot spots into Tuesday morning.

The five injured firefighters were treated mostly for heat exhaustion and dehydration. They were all said to be stable.

"You know temperatures went up again, summer is not over, it got hot last night," Ferrante said. "It was very humid when I got here, it was really just the extreme weather conditions that caused these fatigue-like injuries."

The fire took place about a mile from Arthur Ashe Stadium where the U.S. Open is underway. While there were some concerns about air quality there earlier Tuesday morning, the air has since cleared.

The fire marshal will investigate how the fire started.


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