A raging fire tore through a sushi restaurant and attached medical building in Brooklyn early Wednesday, spewing smoke over the neighborhood as firefighters battled intense flames for hours.
The blaze broke out around 6:30 a.m. at a commercial building on Flatbush Avenue. It escalated to a three-alarm blaze within half an hour and only gained in strength, transforming into a five-alarm inferno before 10 a.m.
Chopper 4 showed a dramatic scene, with thick smoke billowing from the roof and flames appearing to overtake the entire structure. The roof of the restaurant and office building completely collapsed and the fire appeared to be threatening adjacent storefronts. A monster emergency presence flocked to the scene, with at least a dozen fire engines seen from Chopper 4's aerial view.
The city advised people who live in the area to close their windows amid rampant smoke. Dozens of people crowded nearby streets to watch the buildings burn. At least one injury to a firefighter was reported, but that person is expected to be OK.
A close-up view from Chopper 4 showed most of the smoke appearing to come from the charred carcass of the sushi restaurant. The medical office was reduced to a burned husk, nothing but black viewable inside. Officials said chemicals in the office fanned the flames. Shifting winds, and flames in between the two buildings, also complicated the firefighting effort, authorities said.
Flatbush Avenue was closed in both directions in the vicinity to accommodate the emergency response, which stretched multiple blocks. The fire was declared under control around 10:30 a.m., roughly four hours after it broke out.
A cause of the blaze is under investigation.