Dozens of families were left homeless Wednesday after a six-alarm blaze ripped through their Concourse apartment complex late in the shadow of the new Yankee Stadium.
Twenty eight firefighters were injured fighting the stubborn blaze that sent smoking plumes high into the sky.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight on the top floor in the left wing of the six-story building at 975 Walton Avenue, near 164th Street.
“The roof was on fire!” said 15-year-old Isaac Solano, a witness at the neighboring building on Gerard Avenue.
Junior Akmed, an employee at the 975 Deli and Grocery bodega, said he didn’t know about the fire until he heard the sirens.
“I saw a lot of people outside,” said Akmed.
About 200 firefifghters spent four hours fighting the flames before it was declared under control. The roof and sixth floor were heavily burned out.
Fire officials said they were still investigating the cause of the fire.
Most of the 28 injured firefighters suffered smoke inhalation, officials said. Two civilians were also injured but refused medical attention.
Parents, kids and pets hustled out of the building as firefighters rushed in, with the American Red Cross arriving shortly on scene to help relocate residents.
Red Cross crews set up a temporary reception area at All Hallows High School, giving residents shelter, meals and emotional support.
The fire building was declared unsafe by inspectors from the city Department of Buildings.
They ordered building owners to make repairs to the rooftop as soon as possible, said Buildings spokeswoman Gloria Chin.
Buildings department records show hundreds of violations logged against the building, include several for a chronically failing elevator.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383
©2012 Community News Group