The huge New York City fire and building collapse destroyed two restaurants: Pommes Frites and Sushi Park.
The blast, fire, and collapse occurred at 7th Street and 6th Ave in Manhattan at around 3:20 p.m. EDT.
According to NY Eater, the two restaurants were destroyed in the blaze. Says the publication:
A massive explosion in a building on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street has destroyed Sushi Park, the cheap Japanese restaurant always offering half-price sushi deals. At the moment it’s unclear what caused it, but it may have been a gas leak, and most likely occurred on the first floor of the building — though whether it came from the restaurant is still a mystery. For now, emergency crews are on the scene at the partially collapsed building, and there are reports that at least 30 people were injured.The Times is reporting that this is now a seven alarm fire, with around 250 firefighters currently on the scene.
It was confirmed that Pommes Frites is also no more.
In the incident, an apartment building collapsed in a fiery burst of rubble, and flames spread to two nearby buildings, injuring at least a dozen people and scattering debris across surrounding streets in the heart of Manhattan’s trendy East Village.
Orange flames billowed from the blaze on a block near New York University and the Washington Square Park area on Thursday as 120 firefighters converged to fight it. Smoke could be seen and smelled for miles. Investigators were looking into whether there had been a gas leak, and there were some reports of an explosion before the fire.
Firefighters said at least 12 people were hurt, three critically, and other people were being evaluated at the scene. The area was being evacuated, and the city’s health department advised residents to keep their windows closed because of the smoke.
Adil Choudhury, who lives a block away, ran outside when he heard “a huge boom.”
“Already there was smoke everywhere” when he saw the building, he said. “The flames were coming out from the roof. The fire was coming out of every window.”
Items from a ground-floor sushi restaurant were blown into a street, and the explosion was so forceful that it blew the door off a cafe across the avenue. Rubble, glass and debris littered sidewalks.
Crews with utility Con Edison were at the scene and planned to start investigating after firefighters got the blaze under control.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.