Ten Injured, Including Firefighters, in Massive Mulberry Street Blaze Last Night [Updated]

Posted on: January 24th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

Photo: FDNY

The three-alarm blaze that engulfed 70 Mulberry Street last night spread quickly, destroying the upper levels of the historic Public School 23. The fire started shortly after 8:45pm on the fourth floor.

Firefighters from Ladder 20 and police from the 5th Precinct were the first responders. More than two hundred fire personnel ultimately arrived to fight the fire, which escalated to five alarm.

Ten people were injured, including nine firefighters and an older man with mobility challenges who was rescued via tower ladder.

The school building was erected in the late-nineteenth century and, in recent years, had become an anchor for Chinatown services. It served as home to community groups like Chinatown Manpower Project (CMP), Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), United East Athletics Association (UEAA), Chen and Dancers, and the Chinese American Planning Council (CPC).

“I am grateful to all the first responders from Ladder 20 FDNY and the 5th Precinct for your swift action and bravery,” Councilwoman Margaret Chin said in a statement four hours after the fire started. “I look forward to working with you and the Chinatown community to restore what was lost.”

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“We’ve been operating at this fire since 8:40 yesterday evening. The fire had eventually escalated to a 5-alarm fire. At the height of the fire, we had about 200 fire and EMS personnel on the scene. The fire originally started on the fourth floor of the building, it spread to the fifth floor and into the roof area. Right now we are operating from the exterior with our tower ladder streams. We have a deep-seated fire in the roof area that is difficult to access. This will be an extended operation. We have a total of eight firefighters injured and one civilian, all non-life-threatening,” says #FDNY Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson, from the scene of the 5-alarm fire at 70 Mulberry Street in Manhattan.

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