The Red Cross is still at the site of a dramatic 3-alarm fire on Thompson Street in Soho, providing relief to residents who were evacuated after fire tore through a seven story building around 2 a.m. today. Streets were closed off this morning as firefighters grappled with the blaze, which took two and a half hours to get under control. 10 firefighters were injured, and one female civilian, but we're told most the injuries are considered minor. (Update: FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer just told us two of the firefighters were hurt more seriously, but the injuries "do not appear to be life threatening.")
FDNY officials say the fire started in the basement and quickly spread all the way up to the roof, which was consumed by a dramatic conflagration. There are multiple reports that smoke alarms in the building did not go off, and residents frantically banged on apartment doors to alert their neighbors to the emergency. “I couldn’t see anything. Not an inch in front of me,” one resident told NBC New York. “I was asking where to go. Go up, go down? I didn’t know where the fire was. It was insane.”
Over 150 firefighters and EMS responded to the blaze, but fire marshals have not yet entered the building, located at 68 Thompson Street, because the structure is so badly damaged. 72 Thompson Street has also been evacuated, and six families placed in emergency housing. The massive fire calls to mind last February's four alarm fire that ripped through a loft building at 82 Greene Street just before dawn, leaving three families homeless.
UPDATE: A Red Cross spokesperson tells us, "We provided comfort and refreshments to residents and firefighters at the scene of the fire. Temporary housing was provided for 15 adults, 1 child and 1 dog who were displaced by the fire. Other residents are being invited to our headquarters at 520 W 49th street for additional services and help with referrals to other city agencies that can provided assistance."