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17 injured in morning two-alarm fire in Williamsburg

firefighters outside a 2-alarm williamsburg fire at 265 penn street
17 people were injured in an early-morning fire at 265 Penn Street in Williamsburg.
Lloyd Mitchell

A two-alarm fire at a Williamsburg apartment building injured 17 people, including one person who suffered critical harm, early on the morning of Jan. 23, according to the FDNY. 

The blaze broke out at 265 Penn St., near Harrison Avenue, at about 6:30am, said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco at a press conference near the scene.

exterior of 265 oenn street
Firefighters rescued numerous trapped civilans from an apartment fire at 265 Penn Street on the morning of Jan. 23. Lloyd Mitchell

Firefighters found the first floor of the building engulfed in flames, with fire spreading up to the second level, and leaped into action to begin rescuing residents trapped inside. The fire quickly became a two-alarm, with more than 100 firefighters responding to the call.

“There were faces at every window when we pulled [the security gates,]” said one firefighter on the scene.

firefighters outside 265 penn street after fire
Firefighters used three hose lines to knock down fire on the 1st and 2nd floor while battling a two-alarm fire at 265 Penn Street. Lloyd Mitchell

Sarrocco said they had to link together multiple hoses to extinguish the fire.

“We were met with a large number of patients early on and almost all at the same time,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Fred Villani. “Once they were rescued by the firefighters, EMS personnel on the scene had to make rapid decisions on the severity of injuries. One of the patients was critical and was immediately transported to the hospital by Hatzalah volunteers.” 

firefighter inside williamsburg building after fire
Firefighters reportedly had to cut through security gates to reached trapped residents while the fire blazed. Lloyd Mitchell

The apartment building is located just half a block from the local Hatzalah headquarters, Villani said, so emergency responders had plenty of help assisting victims. The FDNY, EMTs, and Hatzalah triaged the rest of the 16 injured tenants on the scene.

It is not clear if any firefighters were injured in the blaze. The FDNY did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

firefighters using ladder at williamsburg fire
Units used portable ladders to reach multiple victims trapped by an apartment fire on Monday morning. Lloyd Mitchell

This is a breaking news story — check back for additional updates and information. Last updated 1/23/23, 11:38am. 

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