Fire in Sunnyside, Queens, that left 186 displaced likely caused by torch: FDNY commissioner

A large fire broke out Wednesday in a 6-story Queens apartment building, leaving more than a dozen injured and hundreds displaced before the Christmas holiday.

The fire broke out around noon on the top floor of the E-shaped building on 47th Avenue in Sunnyside and quickly escalated. 

SkyFOX video shows multiple firefighters attempting to put out a fire as smoke billowed and filled the skyline.

At least 14 people sustained injuries, none life-threatening. This includes a firefighter, who was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

The building has 108 units, and officials estimate 450 tenants are displaced.

Residents are being housed at the nearby Children's Lab School, where the American Red Cross is offering assistance.

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh told GOOD DAY NY that the fire was caused by "an unauthorized construction use of a torch."

"We just know it was someone doing construction work that was not authorized to do so. I think it's a good reminder that the cause of many fires are preventable. And we all should really make sure we're being safe. You know, luckily, no one was seriously injured. But we did have a number of minor injuries, injuries, a firefighter was injured and obviously hundreds of people displaced before Christmas," Kavanagh said.

Kavanagh says residents won't be able to gather their things due to the extensive damage to the building cause by the large fire.

Hundreds are now displaced before the holidays and Kavanagh says it will be a while until it is considered safe to get back inside.

The Red Cross is working with the city to try to get the residents' help through next week.

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