MIDTOWN EAST — A fire broke out at an apartment building on East 55th Street and Second Ave. Monday afternoon, fire officials said.
The fire at 245 E. 55th St. started on the third floor at 1:49 p.m., fire officials said. It was brought under control shortly afterward.
It was not immediately clear whether there were any injuries.
A source said that a neighbor smelled the smoke and called 911, and that police were the first on the scene.
The entire back wall of the apartment was engulfed in flames when officials arrived. They evacuated the building because someone smelled gas, sources said.
"I was a little bit afraid," said Michael Holland, 42, who works in finance, who was sleeping when firefighters knocked on his door.
A man who lived in the building activated a smoke detector, police sources said. The man, who the sources said was emotionally disturbed and believed someone was trying to kill him, was taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital for a phychiatric evaluation.