Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Flatbush, NY - Kosher Sushi Distributor Goes Up In Flames
Crown Heights [CHI] — A four-alarm blaze broke out in a one-story commercial building that houses a kosher sushi distributor on Utica Ave. Monday morning, sending nine city firefighters to the hospital.
The fire broke out at 561 Utica Ave. about 10:30 a.m., FDNY officials said. At least 35 units responded to the blaze with roughly 150 firefighters on the scene. A fourth alarm was issued just before 1 p.m. for relief purposes, fire officials said.
Firefighters had rushed into the building with a hose, but were forced out when the roof, ceiling and part of a wall collapsed.
“It's too dangerous to send people in,” Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Marrone said at the scene.
There was also a lot of debris inside the store, he said.
At least one of the building's tenants is Natural Earth Products, a large kosher food distributor of nori, wasabi and other sushi products, according to its website. The company is listed at 563 Utica Ave., which is in the same building as the blaze.
A person who answered a phone for the company was unable to talk, saying things were “too hectic” at the moment.
“We had a lot of fire in the store in the front and also on the left hand side. As soon as we opened the roll down gates there was fire. Our units operated inside for at least 10 minutes but the amount of fire was just too much. We pulled them out for their own safety, part of the ceiling started to come down,” said one fire chief on the scene.
The firefighters suffered minor injuries and no civilians were hurt.
As of late Monday, officials were still investigating the cause of the fire.