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Around 11 a.m. yesterday, a fire broke out at 37-01 31st Street in Astoria and turned into a four-alarm blaze. According to NY1, "Fire officials say combustible materials in the building, such as paints and wood, created an explosion and the second floor collapsed."

A number of workers at Vantage Properties were trapped inside the building. One worker told NY1, "We smelled fire and we opened to escape to go downstairs and fire shot through the door and that was it smoke just came in from everywhere. All the exits were blocked, we couldn't get out. Firefighters got here three to five minutes top and got us out."

NY1 said six employees were injured as were four firefighters (Fox 5 had also said two children were injured). There have been a number of Department of Buildings complaints recently; a tipster who sent us the photograph at top says that neighbors are suspicious of the fire, given that the neighborhood was recently rezoned.