Nearly two dozen people sustained injuries after a massive inferno tore through a parking garage at Kings Plaza Shopping Center this morning.
The blaze consumed multiple vehicles on two floors of the Flatbush Avenue garage between avenues U and V, injuring three civilians and 18 firefighters before responders controlled the flames around 11:45 am, according to the Fire Department, which described all injuries as non-life-threatening.
Some 200 firefighters from more than 50 units, including three marine units, rushed to combat the seven-alarm inferno after it was reported at 8:28 am, the department said.
Mall officials closed the shopping center and alerted patrons to avoid the area via social media posts shared around 9 am, roughly 30 minutes after New York’s Bravest arrived on the scene, and an hour before its normal 10 am opening time on Mondays.
“Kings Plaza currently closed. Multiple cars on fire in garage and smoke conditions. FDNY on scene. Avoid area,” the Kings Plaza Shopping Center posted on Twitter.
Officials blocked off surrounding streets and rerouted traffic in the area, according to one nearby resident, who said she could see the smoke from her house.
“I can see the smoke from my balcony. My landlord saw a lot of fire trucks and he said every street is blocked off,” said Debbie Russo, who lives two blocks away from the mall on Avenue U.
Reps for the mall could not be reached for comment.
The manager of a local car dealership said he was worried that some of its inventory could be damaged as a result of the fire. The dealership between Flatbush and Fillmore avenues stores between 500 and 600 of its cars on the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the parking garage.
“We have some concerns obviously, a lot of our inventory is there,” said Daniel Del Negro, the store manager of Brooklyn Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership.
Del Negro said they have not been able to see the damage yet because the area is closed off.
“We haven’t been down to assess the damage yet because the area is blocked off,” he said.