Feb. 14, 2021 By Christina Santucci
A five-alarm fire tore through a convenience store in Richmond Hill Sunday morning leaving three people injured– including two firefighters, officials said.
The blaze erupted at the Dollar Jackpot, located at 107-08 Jamaica Ave., at around 7:30 a.m. and firefighters arrived to face flames “blowing out the storefront windows,” according to Chief of Department John Sudnik, who was at the scene.
Initially firefighters tried to get inside the one-story commercial building, but the blaze was too intense.
Firefighters instead tackled the blaze from the street, while preventing the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings, according to the FDNY. Nearby buildings did sustain some damage.
At around 8:30 a.m., the blaze was upgraded to a five-alarm fire, with about 200 first responders called to the scene. The fire was brought under control at 9:53 a.m., a spokesperson for the FDNY said.
Residential buildings located near the site of the fire were evacuated, and about 30 to 40 people were displaced, Sudnik said. However, he said that these people were likely to be able to return to their homes soon.
Two firefighters were injured in the blaze and were taken to a nearby hospital–but have since been released. One civilian was injured and was taken to Nassau County Medical Center. The condition of this person was not immediately available, according to the FDNY.
“Commercial fires are very dangerous,” Sudnik said. “There is a lot of stock in the stores – a lot of combustibles.”
Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar called for an investigation into the cause of the blaze and assistance for anyone affected. She said in a tweet that the Red Cross was on scene and assisting displaced residents. She also said an MTA bus would provide transportation to temporary shelter.
The fire was the second large blaze on Jamaica Avenue within the last few months. In December, a six-alarm fire burned through several buildings about two blocks away–displacing families.
Rajkumar had joined community groups to raise money through a GoFundMe for these displaced families, and earlier this week, she partnered with Zara Realty to donate 13 laptops to children affected by that fire.