Mareeg.com- The Fire Department of New York was on the scene of a fire at a large residential building in Upper Manhattan Wednesday morning after eyewitnesses reportedly heard an explosion at around 9:31 a.m. EST.
Firefighters were still fighting the blaze at 1646 Park Avenue in Harlem around an hour later, and eyewitnesses told Fox News that debris from the partial collapse had spread several blocks throughout the neighborhood.Around that same time, the FDNY upgraded the incident to a four-alarm blaze and confirmed that it was being categorized as a “multiple dwelling explosion and collapse” being handled by upwards of 168 firefighters. By 11 a.m., it was upgraded to a five-alarm.Shortly after that time, the New York Times reported one fatality.
On Twitter, one eyewitness said he was on his way to work when he came across the scene and saw nearby cars covered by bricks and glass. Another, Campus Reform reporter Katherine Timpf, tweeted that her apartment five blocks away on 121 Street shook as the explosion occurred.It has yet to be confirmed whether or not any occupants remained inside the property, but a local hospital was reportedly treating at least 15 victims at a nearby emergency room.
The New York Police Department’s bomb squad was called to the scene, but officials have reportedly said they don’t suspect the incident to be an act of terrorism. Eyewitnesses speculated to Fox News during the network’s live coverage that the fire may have been related to construction being carried out at the location.The building is on the west side of Park Avenue in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood between 116 and 117 Street, and contained a piano store in addition to apartments.The Metro-North railroad suspended service in and out of Grand Central Terminal in downtown Manhattan as a precaution, and local trains were halted after debris reportedly landed on the tracks roughly nine blocks away from the building collapse. Rt.com