Firefighters are still working to knock down a harrowing three-alarm blaze that broke out in Gowanus earlier this morning.
First responders received a call about the inferno just after 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21 and units rushed to 143 9th St., between Second and Third avenues, to find heavy fire emanating from the first and second floors of a 100-year-old, three-story, wood-framed dwelling. The fire then spread to the neighboring building, 145 9th St., Fire Department sources said.
At around 11:15 a.m., units reported that the fire had extended to the third floor of the building.
A third alarm was called at around 11:35 a.m. and more than 120 firefighters remain on scene, operating three hose-lines in an effort to knock down the fire.
Just before noon, members were withdrawn from the building in favor of a defensive fire attack, FDNY sources said. Firefighters are currently operating a tower ladder to knock down the main body of fire.
Kate Bishop, the owner of Principles GI Coffee House nextdoor to the fire, said she was evacuated as the blaze swiftly grew out of control.
“It seemed pretty normal for a while, but then maybe 10 minutes later, there were four or five engines out here,” Bishop said. “FDNY was starting to break windows and we started to see more visible flames come out. It probably went from a zero to a two alarm fire in 15 minutes.”
The local coffee house owner said she’s already working with a local elected official to help provide aid for residents of the building where the blaze broke out.
“It’s just an obligation to take care of your neighbors,” Bishop said.
A man named Freddy said he lives in an apartment on the building’s third floor that was completely devastated by the inferno. He was at work when his superintendent called him to let him know.
Despite being left without a home for the holidays, Freddy says he is looking on the bright side, thankful that nobody was hurt.
“The good thing is this is material, this can be replaced. If this happened at nighttime, you could have been sleeping, kids could have been hurt,” Freddy said. “My family is safe, the rest is all material.”
There were no reported injuries to residents but two minor injuries to firefighters, officials said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the FDNY’s fire marshal. The fire was deemed under control at 12:39 p.m.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.