Hamilton Heights building destroyed by Blaze

Hamilton Heights, Manhattan- Yesterday afternoon a massive fire raged through an apartment building, resulting in the nearly total destruction of the structure. More than half a day later, the fire was finally brought under control.

The fire began just after 3 PM Friday on the top floor of a 6-story apartment building located at 565 W 144 St.

Within hours the roof became completely engulfed by flames and started to collapse.

FDNY Cheif of Department James Leonard stated that heavy winds made fighting the fire difficult because the wind was pushing flames into a small space between the ceiling of the top floor and the roof.

Due to the age of the building and how destructive the fire was, Leonard said he was fearful that the entire building might collapse.

As a result of the collapse danger, firefighters had to end their searches of building and retreat to fight the fire from the outside.

Later in the night when the winds died down, firefighters were able to make progress in fighting the blaze. However, it was not until 9 AM the next morning that the fire was declared under control.

As of this morning, there are reports that 11 people were injured. Seven of them are firefighters, one is a cop and one a civilian.

None of their injuries were serious, according to FDNY officials.

As of right now, the cause of the fire is unclear and it remains under investigation.

Firefighters battling the blaze. PHOTO ANDRE RIVERA.
Firefighters battling the blaze. PHOTO FDNY.

Story by Brendan Walsh.