Fire rages at Sunset Park construction site, workers injured

Firefighters from Tower Ladder 149 rescued several construction workers trapped on the upper floors of a building under construction at Fourth Avenue and 63rd Street on Nov. 9.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A construction site in Sunset Park was engulfed by an inferno on Nov. 9, trapping several construction workers on the upper floors of the partly-constructed building on Fourth Avenue.   

Smoke-eaters received the 911 call of a fire on the ground floor of the site near 63rd Street at 8:45 am, and 17 units, with 75 firefighters, responded to put the blaze under control just before 10 am, a FDNY spokesperson said. 

According to an FDNY Deputy Chief, firefighters rescued three workers were rescued from the fifth floor, two workers jumped to safety from the third floor, and another worker jumped to an adjoining building. Nine civilians sustained injuries, including one with serious smoke inhalation. Two firefighters were injured in the incident, though all injuries were considered non-life-threatening. 

A construction worker is given oxygen after being overcome by smoke.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell 

Videos from the scene show a large plume of black smoke rising up through the building and into the air, while a sizable bright orange flame burns on the ground level. An FDNY official said foam insulation was thought to be the cause of the fire, though the official cause is still under investigation. 

The site of the fire is an in-the-works affordable housing development on the site of the former Zion Lutheran Church, which is being developed by the Fifth Avenue Committee.

This is a developing story, check back here for updates. 

Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell