FOREST HILLS, Queens (WABC) -- One person is dead after a fire ripped through the second floor of an apartment building in Queens.
It broke out just before 10:30 p.m. on Friday at a Korean street food shop on 71-11 Austin Street in Forest Hills.
John Kim, the owner of the shop says they had just closed for the evening when he got a call from his manager who lives on the third floor, one unit above where the fire started
"Yeah his family is ok," said Kim.
Kim's food shop was among a handful of business damaged along the busy commercial stretch by the raging fire.
Witnesses say there were several residents trapped and stuck on the fire escape.
"I was crying here, she was crying over there with the baby," said Preke Vulaj.
Vulaj says it was his 29-year-old daughter calling him crying for help. She had her husband and their 16-month-old son were on the fire escape with no way out, so he sprinted over to try to rescue them - but he couldn't even get close. Firefighters were already on the scene.
"I see her on fire escape. That fire was coming. The fire escape was too hot from the fire. When I'm coming here, still they were over there crying," added Vulaj.
Firefighters were able to pull them to safety - they are all expected to be okay.
Vulaj says he feels lucky, because they were just about to go to bed.
Others, though, were not so lucky. One woman died of smoke inhalation - witnesses say she, too, was on the fire escape holding her baby.
A one-year-old boy was among four people who suffered minor injuries.
It took 60 firefighters to get the flames under control.
The Red Cross is assisting three families who were displaced by the fire.
As for Kim, he says he will need eight months to rebuild his business and reopen.
"It is much worse than I thought. While ceiling we probably have to fix it because the fire damaged it, so all the water, water is coming down, and also our basement is flooded and also all of our equipment is broken," Kim said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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