Ten people, including eight firefighters, were injured in a massive fire at a building in Lower Manhattan on Friday. Image courtesy Fire Department of New York
March 25 (UPI) -- Ten people, including eight firefighters, were injured after a massive fire erupted at a building in New York City's Chinatown district of Lower Manhattan.
At the peak on Friday afternoon, more than 140 NYFD firefighters were on the scene, attempting to extinguish the three-alarm blaze on the ground floor gift shop in the neighborhood.
Around 50 emergency services personnel also responded to the scene.
Black smoke was visible for blocks, billowing from the building, with multiple floors of residential units above the commercial space on the first floor. The flames quickly spread from the ground floor to the upper levels.
The eight firefighters and two civilians were all treated for minor injuries.
FDNY Assistant Chief Thomas Currao told reporters that upon arrival, firefighters were met with "heavy fire conditions" in the front of the structure, calling it "challenging" task to tackle the blaze in an occupied building.
He praised efforts by firefighters quickly stretch hose lines and enter the burning structure.
At least one person was rescued from the building's residential floors. No cause had been identified as of midday Saturday.
Witnesses said the flames spread quickly.
"It looked pretty small, but then it started spreading real quick," witness Jhesson Ynoa told WCBS-TV. "It looked like an inferno. We started hearing pops, pops. The pops were getting louder, so we thought something was gonna blow up."
No damage assessments or estimates have been released.