Two hundred firefighters battled an enormous fire that broke out in a downtown Manhattan building on Wednesday night. It took them over three hours to get the fire under control—"The members made a very aggressive interior attack to stop this fire," said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
The fire broke out at 60 East 9th Street around 5:45 p.m. The apartment building, known as The Hamilton, occupies a large part of the block, and houses hundreds of apartments.
Five firefighters sustained injuries, and officials stated that "most of the 212 units sustained at least some water damage, but everyone got out safely."
Closer shot of the fire in NYC, 8th and Broadway. The smoke is THICK! pic.twitter.com/96SJp6Em5y
— Tony Iliakostas (@ailiakostas) June 28, 2017
Pretty bad fire across the street at Broadway and 8th pic.twitter.com/uqF55bZ0Zu
— LightsCameraJackson (@GladGladGlide) June 28, 2017
— Edgar Alvarez (@abcdedgar) June 28, 2017
A resident, Camille Collett, told DNAinfo, "I was inside reading and all of a sudden smelled something. You could see the haze through the window." She also "said the smoke appeared to be coming from the top floor and roof, adding that she was worried because there 'are a lot of elderly folks' living in the building."
"We're investigating now the possibility that the fire may have started in a deli on the first floor, and traveled up a shaft to the top floor. It quickly spread to the space between the top floor ceiling and the roof that we call the cockloft," Commissioner Nigro said.
There was also an effort to save residents' pets. Building worker Benny Bitiq told the Daily News, "I pulled out four or five dogs and two cats. There was thick smoke everywhere."
Firefighters rescued a woman's long-haired Chihuahua. Melissa Dibbs said, "I showed the Firefighters a picture of my dog, Finnegan, and they took my keys and went upstairs to the apartment to get him. When they came back down, I was so relieved and happy. I couldn't stop saying thank you."