NEW YORK (AP) - More than a dozen firefighters were treated for
heat exhaustion and minor injuries after fighting a four-alarm fire
that gutted businesses along a commercial block in Queens,
authorities said.
At least eight stores, including a corner produce market, were
destroyed or damaged in the blaze, which broke out at about 2:10
p.m. Thursday in the Sunnyside section and raged for nearly five
hours.
Authorities said 17 firefighters were hurt while toiling to put
out the fire on a day of high humidity and temperatures in the
upper 80s.
Firefighters initially responded to 41-08 Queens Boulevard, but
authorities were still investigating where and how the blaze
started, said Fire Department spokesman Sean Johnson.
The destroyed businesses included an Irish pub, a dry cleaners
and a doughnut store.
The fire disrupted subway service on the nearby No. 7 line
during rush hour and shut down traffic along busy Queens Boulevard
for blocks.
The temperature on Thursday reached 90 degrees at LaGuardia
Airport and 88 degrees in Central Park, the National Weather
Service said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-08-22-03 0016EDT