Aug. 10, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
One person is dead after an explosion and subsequent fire ripped through the upper floors of an apartment building in Woodside Tuesday morning.
The FDNY declared a three-alarm fire and dispatched more than 140 firefighters to tackle the inferno at 73-01 41st Ave. shortly after 10:25 a.m., officials said.
Upon arrival, firefighters noticed significant damage to a penthouse located on the seventh floor of the building as well as to the rear of the sixth floor, the FDNY said.
Video footage posted online appears to show the blaze tearing through the penthouse unit and heavy smoke billowing high up into the air.
“Unfortunately, we have one confirmed fatality at this time,” FDNY Chief Thomas Currao said in a statement. The victim’s identity has not yet been released.
Currao added that four firefighters sustained minor injuries.
The fire has since been brought under control but Currao said that the building is currently “very unstable.” It has been evacuated along with two buildings to its rear.
A number of walls inside the penthouse have already collapsed, an FDNY spokesperson said.
Currao said the FDNY is working with the Dept. of Buildings to stabilize the structure and mitigate any further collapse.
It is unclear what caused the initial explosion. Residents reported hearing a slow rumble followed by a loud boom, according to ABC7NY. The explosion was so forceful that some residents thought a plane had crashed into the building.
One Dead, Three-Alarm Fire on Building Rooftop After Explosion @CitizenApp
73-01 41st Ave 10:26:49 AM EDT