The fire has spread to the cockloft of a row of stores with a church and a memorial chapel on either side of the hair salon.
The Gospel Spreading Church of God and the James L. Perkins Memorial Chapel are fully engulfed in flames. A dollar store and another church also caught fire as the blaze spread.
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Some 170 firefighters are on the scene.
“It is a large fire, but the one good thing is we were able to contain it to the stores and the church area, so we don’t think the fire will be spreading any further and we have it surrounded, and at this point we just have to continue to fight it,” the fire chief said.
Firefighters are fighting the fire from outside the buildings. They were pulled from the inside of the buildings because of the intensity of the flames.
Update: Emergency personnel are on the scene of a three alarm fire near West 145th St and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd in Manhattan. Expect smoke and traffic delays in the area.