2007_06_qnsfire.jpgEarly yesterday morning, a fire broke out inside a Met Food Market in the Richmond Hill area of Queens. And it turned out a number of workers had been locked inside. Apparently some workers had been removing floor tiles with a blowtorch, but it's unclear if that was the cause of the fire.

The Daily News reports that the workers trapped in the building "huddled in the basement of the burning Met Food Markets and took turns running upstairs to bang on bolted windows, locked doors and security gates." The FDNY sawed through a security gate and a battalion chief, Bradley Walls, said, "They didn't have much longer to go. There was smoke pumping through the place. Time was critical for them."

A total of 5 workers and 12 firefighters suffered minor injuries. The supermarket's owner said the workers were given a key, which seems to be true, except that the men's boss had a key and he wasn't even at the store, so fire marshals arrested him. Walls added to the Daily News that the FDNY does see many employees locked in stores overnight.