Hundreds Evacuated As Fire Breaks Out in East 41st Street Building

By Aidan Gardiner and Joe Parziale  on November 16, 2012 1:11pm  | Updated on November 16, 2012 3:42pm

 About 250 people were evacuated from 18 E. 41st St. when a fire broke out there on the second floor on Friday November 16, 2012.
About 250 people were evacuated from 18 E. 41st St. when a fire broke out there on the second floor on Friday November 16, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Joe Parziale

MIDTOWN — About 250 people were evacuated from an East 41st Street office building when a fire broke out on the second floor Friday morning, an FDNY spokesman said.

More than 80 firefighters rushed to 18 E. 41st St., near Madison Avenue, to battle the blaze, the spokesman said.

The fire started on the roof of a structure connecting the office building to an adjacent Japanese restaurant, 8th Battalion Chief Mark Rosenbaum said at the scene. The flames then spread to the office building and quickly made their way into the stairwell.

The cause of the blaze was still under investigation, he said.

"Once it became clear there was smoke in the stairwell, we had to make sure everyone was taken out of there before smoke became heavier and posed a more serious threat," Rosenbaum said.

Firefighters evacuated everyone within 15 to 20 minutes, using stairs because the elevators were inoperable, Rosenbaum added.

Rosenbaum said there did not appear to be any injuries.

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