About 300 people were left homeless and two firefighters remained in the hospital Thursday night after a massive blaze ravaged a seven-story apartment building in Brooklyn.
One civilian was treated at the scene, 665 New York Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and two dozen firefighters were taken to Kings County Hospital and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, mostly for exhaustion, sprains, strains and smoke inhalation said FDNY spokesman Jim Long. One firefighter experienced chest pains while fighting the fire. "He's improving, but he's being held overnight," Long said Thursday.
The blaze erupted on the roof of the 117-unit building shortly after 10 a.m. and took 200 firefighters more than three hours to extinguish due in part to hot, humid conditions. "We're looking into the possibility of a lightening strike," as a cause, said Long.
The Red Cross set up a reception center for displaced residents at P.S. 397, at nearby 490 Fenimore St. where 125 people, many of them elderly, lingered Thursday. "We have people coming home from work and just finding out they can't go home," said Sam Kille, regional communications director for the Red Cross. "It's been an extremely busy summer for us," said Kille, noting that there were three dozen fires in one 48-hour period this summer.