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Ollie's Noodles destroyed in two-alarm blaze

A popular eatery near Columbia University was wrecked Tuesday night in a two-alarm fire.

More than 78 firefighters responded to Ollie's Noodles, at 2957 Broadway, around 11 p.m. when the blaze broke out, according to the FDNY. Students who lived in the building above the Chinese restaurant were evacuated while FDNY spent the next two hours fighting the fire.

The restaurant has been a staplefor years for students looking for a quick bite and some Columbia members said they were shocked when they saw the storefront Wednesday.

"I just ate here last night! This is one of my favorite spots around campus," James Gao, a first-year Columbia business school student, said.

Ollie's Noodle's owners couldn't be reached for comment.

America Garza, a Barnard sophomore, said she too was a fan.

"This was the notorious 'having a bad day, eating a bunch of carbs' kind of place," she said. "It's one of those joints in college where you go to have a good greasy meal."

The cause of the fire, which sent four FDNY members and one civilian to the hospital with minor injuries, was still under investigation. Some students said they heard an explosion.

A spokeswoman for Barnard College said the students who lived in the building were able to return to their rooms at 8 a.m.

"We are grateful to the FDNY and NYPD for their quick response and support, and thankful that no one was seriously hurt in this fire," Joanne Kwong, Barnard's spokeswoman said in a statement.

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