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FDNY battles three-alarm warehouse fire in Astoria beneath N/W subway line on 31st Street

Firefighters cut holes in the roof of a warehouse alongside the Astoria N/W subway line during a three-alarm blaze that broke out Wednesday morning. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

March 29, 2023 By Bill Parry

Several firefighters were injured while battling a three-alarm fire in a one-story commercial building in Astoria on Wednesday morning, according to the FDNY.

One firefighter was seriously injured and another five firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the fire that tore through the Lion-Aire warehouse at 34-38 31st St., beneath the N/W Astoria subway line, just after 10 a.m. on March 29.

(Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Service on the Astoria line was not affected by the blaze, according to an MTA spokesman.

The FDNY response brought 138 firefighters to the scene, with 33 units and 50 EMS personnel responding from surrounding stations, according to the FDNY. The fire was placed under control just after noon, but operations continued into the afternoon.

“We arrived at 10:15 and firefighting units encountered heavy fire. It’s going to be extended operation due to the amount of stock that is in this warehouse,” FDNY Chief Chuck Downey said. “The warehouse is stacked from floor to ceiling with portable air conditioning units. So we [are continuing] to put pockets of fire out at this time.”

(Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

He added that the amount of stack in the warehouse made it difficult to gain entry.

“Most commercial structures such as this that we’re working on are one-story structures that have a lot of stock that create narrow aisle space,” Downey said.

One civilian suffered minor injuries as a result of the fire, according to FDNY.

EMS transported two of the injured to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in Astoria and one to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the FDNY.

Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.

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