An early morning two-alarm fire ripped through popular Emilio’s Pizza, Latin Kitchen, and surrounding retail at 3843 E. Tremont Avenue on Wednesday, September 5.
While those two received the brunt of the damage, other stores effected by the blaze were: China Wok, which faced mainly smoke damage, Ink House, a tattoo parlor had its glass door smashed and took ceiling damage as well as faced smoke damage, and Nail Spa Elegance faced some ceiling damage.
Other properties on the retail strip’s Schley Avenue side effected were: Throggs Neck Shotokan Karate-Do, had its second story windows knocked out and was subject to additional smoke damage, while its first floor counterpart, The Whitening Gals teeth whitening service also took damage from the fire.
Thick smashed panes of broken glass from the FDNY operation completely littered the surrounding sidewalks.
Initial reports indicated that the fire began in Emilio’s, although the FDNY later determined that the flames started inside of Latin Kitchen.
In the wake of the fire in Throggs Neck, Latin kitchen was flooded with water and broken glass and damaged ceiling tiles, while damage accessors said its basement wasn’t in “too bad of shape.”
The store’s front glass doors had been completely shattered in the process.
Emilio’s took water, ceiling and smoke damage as well.
Paper bags filled with freshly baked loaves of bread sat innocently in front of the overcooked pizza parlor while damage was being assessed.
China Wok employees spent their morning trying to salvage as many kitchen supplies that they could, while working in the dark as power had been cut to the strip.
FDNY responded to the call at 7:47 a.m. just minutes after a retired fire fighter notice the blaze while heading to neighboring CVS Pharmacy on East Tremont Avenue. By 7:59 a.m. it was elevated to a two-alarm fire, and was controlled about an hour later.
East Tremont Avenue was all but shut down from the dozen or so fire engines and ambulances that responded to the call.
Firefighters ran hoses through Latin Kitchen while also operating on the retail strip’s 1-story roof.
Multiple ladder trucks were used in the process.
In addition to fighting the flames, FDNY members also battled a heat advisory in 90-degree weather.
Out of the dozens of responders, six FDNY members suffered from heat exhaustion.
In efforts to combat the heat, FDNY set up tents with cold-water jugs for the first responders and business owners.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined as well as a timeline of these businesses reopening.