A five-alarm fire torched a Richmond Hill dollar store early Valentine’s Day, displacing several families in the process, according to elected officials.
Nearly 200 firefighters arrived to fight the fire that broke out around 7:27 a.m. at the Dollar Jackpot at 107-08 Jamaica Ave. and left three people injured, including two firefighters, according to the FDNY.
The fire quickly grew, becoming a five-alarm blaze just after 8:30 a.m., the FDNY said, and engulfed the storefront of the one-story building in smoke, according to images of it in progress.
FDNY Chief of Department John Sudnik reportedly described the scene as having “heavy fire conditions,” with “fire blowing out the storefront windows.”
Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control just before 10 a.m. Both of the injured firefighters were transported to a Forest Hills hospital before being released.
The fire spread from the dollar store to three surrounding buildings, including two containing residential units. The Red Cross registered 20 residents as displaced, according to Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven). They have all since self-relocated, her spokesperson said.
The assemblywoman reported that several families were among the displaced and called for donations of gift cards, clothes, coats, toiletries, canned goods and pet food.
Donations can be dropped off at The Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park Lions Club at 135-01 Lefferts Blvd. in South Ozone Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Later that night a second fire broke out about a mile and a half west at 79-04 Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven. The Red Cross was also called to assist in that fire and helped lodge one household of two adults and five children and provided emergency financial assistance. They were relocated to temporary housing in a hotel.
This article was updated to change the location where donations may be dropped off following a request from the office of Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar.