A Middle Village fire spread quickly on Monday night, starting in a two-story row house in the Queens neighborhood and quickly moving to six other homes.
In all it took 200 firefighters to put out the blaze, and 11 of them suffered minor injuries during the ordeal.
The fire started in the Queens neighborhood at close to 8 pm on Monday, exploding in what witnesses say was a giant fireball that looked like a bomb going off.
Arthur Rabich, who lives in the home and is the landlord to a family with small children living above him, went from door to door alerting residents of the fire.
“That’s how the whole thing went up,” he said. “We don’t know what caused it. I saw it from the window, and it went up, so I got everybody out before. I didn’t know if it was an explosion, or gas or whatever. So we all got out quick.”
Neighbors said the watched the Middle Village fire spread from the first house to the others as flames jumped to nearby buildings.
“The roof was flaming, and then the flame went to another house,” witness Elizabeth Wogtowicz told NBC News. “I saw the flames coming straight to my window, and I was frightened.”
It took the firefighters close to three hours to finally bring the blaze under control.
Middle Village is a middle class neighborhood in Queens, located near the Long Island Expressway. It is made up of mostly single-family homes with many attached homes and some apartment buildings. Close to 30,000 people live in Middle Village.
Despite the massive size of the Middle Village fire, authorities said no one was hurt and all pets were evacuated safely.
Fire department officials are investigating the cause of the Middle Village fire.