A fire erupted in a Queens residence that was illegally being used as a daycare center. The dangerous blaze broke out on Wednesday, causing one child to be transported to the hospital in a critical state. Seventeen other children were also injured, according to officials and sources.
It is thought that the fire began in the basement of the two-story house at 147-07 72nd Drive in Kew Gardens Hills. The FDNY believes that it was caused by a lithium-ion battery from an electric scooter at approximately 2 p.m.
The remaining 17 children were in a stable state after evacuating the building, and FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Stacy Scanlon said that they, “refused medical attention on the scene.”
The authorities have not disclosed the ages of the victims affected by the incident.
The FDNY Chief of Operations, John Esposito, shared more details about scene of the fire. He said, “Companies arrived and found heavy fire in the basement. Firefighters removed some pediatric patients from the building, including one from the fire area in the basement. The fire was under control within 40 minutes and was confined to the basement.”
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) reported that around sixty fire and emergency services personnel attended the incident. Sources mentioned that the basement of the building housed both a day care facility and a dentist’s office.
FDNY declared that fire marshals are performing an investigation. The Department of Buildings has secured the building and the Red Cross is providing refuge for any inhabitants. No arrests have been made, however the city has issued citations for any building violations.