Five-alarm fire rips through Bronx store

7 Online - October 12, 2006

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Valentine Ave. and E. Fordham Road cordoned off; almost 200 firefighters were on the scene

Eyewitness News

(Bronx-WABC, Oct. 11, 2006) - A fire began in the rear of a shoe store with heavy flames, also, a smoky two-story building. It broke out at 226 East Fordham Road in the Fordham section of the Bronx.

Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson is live with the latest.

The early fire went from ominous black smoke, to what now looks like a grayish-white cloud. That is a good thing. It means much of the material has burned down.

But as of noon, all of the businesses in that block still remain closed, as nearly 200 firefighters continue to watch over the scene.

All along the Grand Concourse and Fordham Road, people were ducking for cover. A fire had broken out inside the back of a Foot Locker on Valentine Avenue around 7:30 this morning.

Because of all the athletic gear, loads of rubber and plastic, columns of thick, black smoke poured out.

Resident: "We kept most of the windows closed. I have asthmatic in my home, so I had to keep everything closed."

The blaze quickly broke to a fourth alarm. Close to 200 firefighters were on the scene.

At one point, crews had to pull out of the building an fight it from the outside. It was too dangerous to go in.

Firefighters were concerned about the flames spreading but able to stop that from happening.

"They went around the corner into the Wagner building. They went downstairs to the basement to check if the fire was spreading, it was not spreading. They said it was getting stronger. It is getting worse."

Mark runs a jewelry store around the corner and clear to open the business, but decided not to. The smoke was too much.

"It has a real bad smell. It starts hurting your lungs, you start feeling it after awhile."

This fire did eventually jump to a fifth alarm, more man power was needed.

The windy weather conditions made the job that much harder for firefighers.

Three firefighters did receive minor injuries, at least, one was brought to Jacobi Hospital. But as of now, this fire still has not officially been declared under control.