Hamilton Heights Fire Engulfs Apartment Building

November 18, 2017

Patch reports that firefighters are battling a large rooftop blaze in the Hamilton Heights section of West Harlem, fire officials said. Four firefighters and one civilian suffered non life-threatening injuries while operating at the scene of the fire, officials said.

The fire broke out at about 3:15 p.m. on the top floor of a building on West 144th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, an FDNY spokeswoman said. The structure is a six-story multiple dwelling building with ground floor retail space.

The entire top floor of the building is a “very heavy, active fire scene,” FDNY chief of department James Leonard said of the blaze. The fire burned away much of the building’s roof and the building is in danger of collapsing, Leonard told reporters Friday evening.

The massive fire triggered a four-alarm response, which generally means about 170 firefighters have responded to the scene. The fire was upgraded to a five-alarm response shortly before 5 p.m., which pushed the response of about 250 firefighters and other emergency responders, officials said.

Witnesses of the fire uploaded photos and videos that showed the massive blaze spreading through the top floor of the six-story building. Parts of the building facade appeared to be falling down to the street below.

Firefighters were seen putting water on the fire from elevated platforms and the roof of a nearby building, according to eyewitness videos.

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