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Fire levels up to 100 homes in Queens — help the families

2 years ago

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RYOT POINTS

Superstorm Sandy

Keith Klein, right, and Eileen Blair assess the damage caused by a fire in the New York City borough of Queens, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — A huge fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood Tuesday, forcing firefighters to undertake daring rescues and injuring three people.

More than 190 firefighters contained the blaze but were still putting out some pockets of fire more than nine hours after it erupted.

Damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point is shown Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. A fire department spokesman says more than 190 firefighters are at the blaze in the Breezy Point section. Fire officials say the blaze was reported around 11 p.m. Monday in an area flooded by the superstorm that began sweeping through earlier. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

As daylight broke, neighbors walked around aimlessly through their smoke-filled Breezy Point neighborhood, which sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Electrical wires dangled within feet of the street.

Officials said the fire was reported around 11 p.m. Monday in an area flooded by the superstorm that began sweeping through the city earlier.

Firefighters told WABC-TV that the water was chest high on the street, and they had to use a boat to make rescues. They said in one apartment home, about 25 people were trapped in an upstairs unit, and the two-story home next door was ablaze and setting fire to the apartment’s roof. Firefighters climbed an awning to get to the trapped people and took them downstairs to a boat in the street.

Video footage of the scene showed a hellish swath of tightly packed homes fully engulfed in orange flames as firefighters hauled hoses while sloshing in ankle-high water. Many homes appeared completely flattened by the wind-whipped flames.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was taken to a hospital. Two civilians suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

In September, the same neighborhood was struck by a tornado that hurled debris in the air, knocked out power and startled residents who once thought of twisters as a Midwestern phenomenon.

RYOT NOTE: Sandy threw everything she had at us: Storm surge, wind, rain, snow and fire. Our thoughts are with all these people who lost their homes. It’s a truly devastating experience we can’t even imagine. What we can do is help. The RYOT Foundation has set up a fund for the people who lost their homes. Donations will help the devastated community. We understand that not everyone can afford to donate, but just by sharing this story, you’re making a difference.

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  1. [...] The Queens Fire Fund is raising money for people who lost their homes to fire as a result of the hurricane. [...]

Fire levels up to 100 homes in Queens — help the families

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