A massive fire ripped through the Dim Sum Palace restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown overnight on Sunday, officials said, leaving half a dozen firefighters injured and multiple families displaced.
The blaze was first reported shortly before midnight on Saturday in the rear of the ground floor restaurant, before spreading throughout the four story mixed-use building and becoming a five-alarm fire, officials said. Roughly 170 firefighters spent over six hours battling the “tremendous volume of fire,” according to FDNY Assistant Chief Tom Currao.
Half a dozen firefighters were hospitalized with minor injuries, authorities said. No residents were hurt.
A spokesperson for the Red Cross said that two households were receiving temporary lodging, while two other families had relocated on their own.
While the cause of the fire was still under investigation Sunday afternoon, officials said that conditions inside the building – located at 6 Chatham Square – may have played a role in worsening the flames.
“In a lot of these older buildings, there are a lot of concealed spaces where fire can travel,” Currao said on Sunday. “As much water volume we were bringing to the building, it was difficult to open up and extinguish.”
The blaze comes just two weeks after another early morning fire killed two people – a 52-year-old man and his 91-year-old mother – in an apartment on nearby Mulberry Street.
Mei Lum, the owner of nearby Wing on Wo, said she awoke early Sunday to dense clouds of smoke over her Mott Street apartment and immediately thought of the recent inferno.
“It’s just devastating to think about the short amount of time [since the last fire] and the type of displacement that’s happening to small business owners and residents,” Lum told Gothamist.
“There’s something really intense to watch your neighborhood be on fire like this,” she added. “It’s really hard to reground ourselves when one thing happens after another.”