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Fire Breaks Out on the Roof of Urban Outfitters Building on Broadway

By DNAinfo Staff on July 12, 2010 1:59pm  | Updated on July 12, 2010 4:55pm

By Ben Fractenberg and Jordan Heller

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

NOHO —  A fire engulfed the roof of a six-story building at the corner of Broadway and Bleecker Street Monday, leading fire officials to speculate that a wooden roof deck had spontaneously combusted.

FDNY Deputy Chief Bob Carroll said that the asphalt roof may have heated up to a point where it ignited flames on the wooden deck (a picture of the roof deck before the fire can be seen here).

Fire officials evacuated nearby buildings after receiving a call about 11:30 a.m. reporting a blaze at 628 Broadway, which houses Urban Outfitters, the FDNY said.

The two-alarm fire was brought under control shortly after 12:30 p.m on Monday.

Doug Brown, 55, a photography rep who was renting space at Sun Studios, which occupies the top floor of the building, said he was across the street when the fire started. When he saw the flames, he ran into the burning building to rescue 16 portfolios.

"I didn't want to leave the portfolios," he said. "It was hard enough to get the photos."

A short time later, he was seen being treated for smoke inhalation. Two more firefighters were treated for injuries. One had to be taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Bain Coffman, 45, who works at Sun Studios,  said he saw smoke through the windows and went to the roof to investigate.

"I walked upstairs and saw three- or four-foot-high flames," he said. "It looked like the roof deck had caught on fire."

The blaze occured just four days after a four-alarm fire engulfed the roof of a residential building at the corner of East Houston Street and Avenue A.

A fire raged on the roof of a building at the corner of Broadway and Bleecker on Monday.
A fire raged on the roof of a building at the corner of Broadway and Bleecker on Monday.
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