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Fire Breaks Out in Broadway Restaurant Near Lincoln Center, FDNY Says

By  Victoria Bekiempis and Aidan Gardiner | January 3, 2013 10:39am | Updated on January 3, 2013 11:57am

 A fire broke out inside of Ollie's Noodle Shop and Grille, located at 1991 Broadway, about 9:45 a.m. Thursday January 3, 2013, the FDNY said.
Fire Breaks Out In Lincoln Square Restaurant
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LINCOLN SQUARE — A restaurant fire broke out in a two-story building blocks away from Lincoln Center Thursday morning, sending up a massive column of smoke, witnesses and fire officials said.

The fire started about 9:45 a.m. inside of Ollie's Noodle Shop and Grille, at 1991 Broadway near West 68th Street, two blocks from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, an FDNY spokesman said.

"It was scary," said Nick Kercu, a porter at nearby 1995 Broadway who was on a seventh-floor patio when he saw the fire suddenly flare up.

"It was just like that," he added, snapping his fingers. "We saw the smoke. It was coming out of the ductwork near Ollie's."

The blaze quickly seeped into the restaurant's ductwork, shooting plumes of smoke out from the noodle shop, fire officials said.

Kercu, who called the Fire Department, said he and fellow workers helped evacuate scores of people from the 18-story building.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and quickly extinguished it about 45 minutes later.

No one was injured, fire officials said.

Dong Chen, Ollie's assistant manager, said he wasn't there when the blaze started and was blindsided when it sparked.

"I don't know what happened," Chen said.

The restaurant will be closed indefinitely, Chen added.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Joe Parziale contributed to this story.