A raging inferno engulfed and destroyed several businesses in the Bronx early Tuesday, sending a black plume of smoke into the air as ferocious flames licked the gear of hundreds of firefighters working to put them out.
The FDNY says the four-alarm fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. at 316 E. 194th Street, near Marion Avenue, in Fordham. About 250 firefighters and EMTs responded, authorities said.
Stunned neighbors watched as the block filled with smoke, flames quickly spreading from store to store. More than 200 firefighters worked for hours to get it under control.
Chopper 4 over the scene and showed the inferno chewing through a row of business. The thick smoke and blinding flames were so large it appeared to be taking over half a block.
A barber shop, a laundromat, a Chinese restaurant, a tax service and a pharmacy were all lost in the fire. Only a supermarket could be saved. The FDNY told News 4 at the scene that nobody was inside any of the burning stores.
"It's sad. A lot of people depend on businesses here," said witness George Perez.
The cause of the blaze wasn't immediately clear, nor was a point of origin. The FDNY says the fire marshal is investigating.