Two people were seriously injured when a fire tore through the Emperor House Chinese restaurant in Whitestone Saturday afternoon, a spokesman for the FDNY said.
One man was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with second-degree burns in very serious condition, and another person, who a neighborhood leader said was a female worker, was brought in serious but stable condition to New York Hospital Queens after the restaurant blaze in the Whitestone shopping center on 10th Avenue, fire officials said.
The FDNY were called to respond at 4:49 p.m., and three firefighters also suffered minor injuries before the fire was considered under control at 5:26 p.m., the spokesman said.
Devon O’Connor, founder of Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association, said he believed the injured man was the owner of the Chinese food restaurant and the young woman, who he spotted being brought to an ambulance, had worked there.
“The girl I saw had one of her arms wrapped up and most of her hair was burned off,” he said. “She had an oxygen tank attached to her. It was hard to look at.”
O’Connor said numerous emergency responders filled the shopping center on 154th Street, where the neighborhood’s Walbaums is located.
“I saw what seemed like endless amounts of firefighters and firetrucks. The firefighters in this town are amazing,” he said “They are always first on the scene.”
The FDNY spokesman said that fire marshals were investigating and would determine the cause of the blaze.
Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at timesledge
©2013 Community News Group
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