Six FDNY Firefighters Hurt Battling Blaze
One seriously injured


Updated: 11-26-2007 11:40:43 AM


JOE MOLLICA and ANDY GELLER
Courtesy of The New York Post

NEW YORK-- A fire swept through a five-story Upper East Side building yesterday, forcing 25 tenants from their homes and injuring six firefighters, including one seriously, authorities said.

The two-alarm blaze broke out at 8:06 a.m. in the walls of a liquor store on the ground floor of the building at 1364 York Ave. at 73rd Street and spread to the top floor, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Faulty wiring appeared to be the cause.

Tenants said they first noticed the fire when smoke billowed from their lighting fixtures.

A total of 106 firefighters using 25 trucks battled for more than an hour to bring the blaze under control.

The spokesman said one firefighter was seriously hurt, while the others suffered minor injuries. They were taken to New York Hospital, which declined to disclose their conditions.

The firefighters chopped holes in walls and ceilings to try to stop the blaze from spreading.

The East River Liquor store, where the fire broke out, suffered the worst damage. After the flames were extinguished, the store was a wet, sloppy mess of broken walls and smashed bottles.

"My whole place was destroyed," fumed the store's owner, John Mohammed. "With the holidays and Christmas coming, you wait the whole year for this."

"We lost everything in there," he added. "I hope we can rebuild."

All 25 tenants were forced to leave their apartments when firefighters arrived. They were eventually allowed back inside to retrieve some personal belongings.

Then, they either found lodging with friends or relatives or were put up in hotels by the Red Cross.

"My apartment was destroyed," said Love Malone, 32, who lives on the second floor above the liquor store. "There's a giant hole in my ceiling, and I don't have a kitchen or a bathroom anymore."

Vaughn Meadows, 46, who lives on the fifth floor, said he was going to stay with his brother in Dallas.

"My apartment's a mess," he said. "I have holes through my walls. And there's a hole in my roof. A lot of my stuff is destroyed. The apartment is not livable."

Republished with permission of The New York Post.

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