[UPDATE BELOW] Local resident Mina Hochberg sent us these photos of a fire that tore through the Associated Grocery Store and the apartments above it at 17th Street and 5th Avenue in Park Slope today around 12:45. The FDNY tells us it's a three alarm fire, and so far one firefighter has sustained minor injuries. It's unclear if anyone else was hurt, or what caused it, and as of 4:15 it wasn't completely out. An FDNY spokesman told us the incident is "ongoing" and suggested we call back in a little bit. When asked how long "a little bit" is, the spokesman replied, "I can't tell you when the fire is going to stop."
One commenter on Brownstoner writes, "Every few minutes the view from my bedroom window turns jet black and visibility goes down to zero from the smoke. My whole apartment smells like burning fabric. I don't know that there's enough Febreeze and lysol in the world to kill this smell." Another says, "Streets are still blocked off and it's damn near impossible to breathe out there. Looks like this one will be going for a while. Word on the street is that the fire began in the basement of the grocery store late this morning and then just shot straight up into the store itself and the apartments above."
We're told the Red Cross is on the scene doing damage assessment and determining who will require Red Cross assistance.
UPDATE: A firefighter tells Dan Myers at Here's Park Slope that the fire was started by an exploding boiler in the basement of the Associated Supermarket.