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Early morning fire destroys Williamsburg restaurant, displaces several tenants

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Firefighters battle a three-alarm fire at Cafe Argentino early Tuesday morning, Aug. 23.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A three-alarm fire destroyed Cafe Argentino, an Argentinian steakhouse in Williamsburg, and severely damaged a number of apartments above it early Tuesday morning.

A cohort of 139 firefighters arrived at 499 Grant St. just after 3:40 a.m. to battle the blaze.

Upon arrival, Fire Department personnel encountered heavy fire conditions on all three floors of the mixed-use building, as well as on the roof. The fire extended to a nearby building, and firefighters were forced to cut several holes into the roof to ventilate the flames.

Firefighters from Ladder Company 114 and Rescue Company 2 operate under heavy fire conditions to open up a roof during the fire.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Members deployed four hose lines to knock down the fire.

Six firefighters were injured and transported to area hospitals for treatment, according to Fire Department officials, but searches throughout the restaurant and apartments yielded negative results, meaning there were no people trapped inside by the fire.

Though there were no reported civilian injuries, several residents and pets were displaced by the blaze.

Multiple residents and pets were displaced after an early morning Williamsburg fire.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The fire was placed under control at 5:15 a.m. and its cause remains under investigation by the FDNY Fire Marshal’s Office.

Cafe Argentino bills itself online as a family-owned restaurant specializing in Argentinian cuisine. Management could not immediately be reached for comment.

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