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Queens Village Fire Leaves Child with Minor Injuries

By  Tuan Nguyen and Patrick Hedlund | April 30, 2012 8:29am 

QUEENS — A blaze broke out inside a Queens Village building early Monday morning, leaving a child and three others with minor injuries, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to the scene, at 220-03 Hempstead Ave. near 220th Street, after getting a call about the fire at 3:14 a.m., the FDNY said.

Residents said a blast ripped through the silence of the night.

"I don't know whether it's a gas explosion or a bomb," said Frank Sha Francois, who felt the shock in his home two blocks away. "It was a messy scene with about 20 fire trucks, ambulance, police cars rushing there."

Francois added that merchandise from a deli at the location spilled out onto the street.

"The ice cream refrigerator was blown to the middle of the road," he said.

A child, another civilian and two firefighters suffered minor injuries in the blaze, fire officials said. The two civilians were treated at the scene and released, while the firefighters were taken to Long Island Jewish hospital for treatment, officials added.

The blaze originated in a first-floor commercial space at the three-story building and quickly hit a second alarm, fire officials said. It was brought under control about four hours later, the FDNY said.

Emergency crews remained on the scene due to the possible structural instability of the building, fire sources said.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.