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FDNY: None hurt in South Street Seaport fire

A three-alarm blaze at the South Street Seaport

A three-alarm blaze at the South Street Seaport created a large cloud of smoke over the East River. The fire broke out at about 4 p.m. and took members of the Coast Guard and the New York City Fire Department about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control. No injuries were reported. (July 14, 2012) Credit: Bob Fesselmeyer

Fire shrouded South Street Seaport's Pier 17 in downtown Manhattan in thick black smoke Saturday afternoon but injured no one, authorities said.

Around 140 FDNY firefighters and the Coast Guard attacked the 4 p.m. fire with hoses from the pier and fire boats on the East River, taking about 45 minutes to bring it under control, said Nancy Greco, a spokeswoman from the city's Office of Emergency Management.

Greco said that authorities evacuated the shopping mall on the pier but could not immediately say how many shops were affected.

By 6 p.m. the eastern portion of the pier remained closed, with no word yet on its structural stability or the fire's cause.

A rock music festival being held nearby was halted but resumed after a brief interruption.

Workers at one Seaport business said they were astonished by the volume of smoke: "My manager thought the Brooklyn Bridge had caught on fire," said Jimmy Acevedo, general manager of Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours.

Blazing Saddles' kiosk emerged unscathed, though. "We're fine," Acevedo said. "We just moved across the street."

The shopping mall at Pier 17 opened in 1985.

The Howard Hughes Company, which owns and manages Seaport, said in a statement last night: "We will work to assist [the authorities] in their investigation in any way that we can."