Some 200 firefighters have been battling a "stubborn" blaze in a downtown Manhattan building since 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The six-alarm fire broke out on the first floor of 188 First Avenue in the East Village. The FDNY said it would be a "prolonged operation" because firefighters cannot get to the "seat of the fire."

Three civilians suffered non-life-threatening injuries, as did 11 firefighters.

FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard described it as a "very difficult, stubborn fire to fight." Apparently the building, which is five stories high and has apartments on the upper floors, was built with wood that "is thicker and better than it is today."

"Much of the roof on the first floor extension has burned away, but because of the collapse hazard we can't get in there. And that's the problem, why we can't put this fire out right now," Leonard said.

There are also structural concerns for the building. Nearby schools are closed:

Neighboring buildings were also evacuated. We'll update as more information becomes available.