Dec. 13, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
The FDNY has released a report detailing the cause of a massive fire that ripped through a number of storefronts on Queens Boulevard in August.
The four-alarm fire took place at around 7:15 a.m. on Aug. 12 and engulfed five businesses located on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 44th Street. The storefronts include restaurants Mad for Chicken, Bajeko Sekuwa and Mad Cafe, as well as a Japanese market called Taiyo Foods and skincare salon Yeserith Esthetics.
The official incident report states that the blaze was caused by faulty electrical wiring inside Bajeko Sekuwa Himalayan Grill, located at 43-16 Queens Blvd. A preliminary investigation by the FDNY initially suggested that the fire erupted inside Taiyo Foods.
The fire, according to the final report, broke out above a drop ceiling to the rear of the Himalayan restaurant. The blaze then spread throughout the roof area and tore into the adjoining storefronts.
More than 200 fire and EMS personnel responded to the blaze, and the business owners along the strip were forced to vacate.
None of the storefronts have reopened, although the owners of Taiyo Foods have announced that they are relocating to 42-02 43rd Ave. and expect to be open before Christmas.
The operators of Bajeko Sekuwa could not be reached for comment.
Sunnyside Shines, a local business improvement district, created a GoFundMe hours after the blaze to support workers who lost income due to the fire. The fundraiser generated nearly $42,000, with more than 750 people contributing.
The blaze was the second major fire to tear through stores on Queens Boulevard in the past three years. A Dec. 13, 2018 fire decimated several businesses— including Sidetracks, Zen Yai, UPS, Romantic Depot and New York Style Eats. The storefronts have since been demolished.