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Massive Fire Rips Through Inwood Building

By DNAinfo Staff on January 4, 2012 12:11am

By Carla Zanoni and Tom Liddy

DNAinfo Staff

INWOOD — A massive fire tore through an Inwood building late Tuesday night, sending more than 100 firefighters racing to the scene, officials said.

The blaze erupted inside a two-story building at 4945 Broadway, near West 207th Street, just after 11 p.m., part of a row of commercial buildings, according to the FNDY.

About 138 firefighters from 33 units battled the blaze, which consumed much of the building, according to fire sources. It was finally brought under control shortly before 3 a.m., the FDNY added. 

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries in the third-alarm blaze, fire officials said.

Several business owners stood on the street watching as flames lapped at their businesses, which include Bread and Yoga studio, Dichter's Pharmacy, Burhan Hardware, Furry Friends, Splash Laundromat, Bank of America, Citibank, a dentist office, a lawyer's office and China Buffet, a restaurant that closed over the summer. Several nearby businesses were also consumed with smoke and water. 

A fire engulfed a suite of businesses in Inwood on January 3, 2012.
A fire engulfed a suite of businesses in Inwood on January 3, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni

Marcela Xavier, owner of Bread and Yoga, said she was grateful nobody had been injured as she watched the fire from 207th Street. 

"It's a major fire, it's burning high," she said before the flames engulfed her business. "But everyone is OK."

Residents flocked to the site to watch the flames and comfort one another.

"We all feel for our neighborhood, because we are so close knit here," said Inwood resident Richard Herrera, who recorded the fire on a UStream feed from the site.

Others tweeted words of concern and condolences for the businesses and neighborhood. 

"My heart is heavy for all that was lost tonight. I hope our beloved friends, neighbors & small business owners will recover," tweeted Inwoodmomof2.

"What I love about #Inwood? There's a real sense of community here," tweeted Jennifer Iannolo.