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Fire-Damaged Bruson Building Doesn't Have to Be Torn Down, Officials Say

By Katie Honan | April 24, 2014 4:37pm
 The fire started on the third floor, a source said.
The fire started on the third floor, a source said.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS — The 37th Avenue building that was decimated by a massive fire Monday night is stable enough that it does not immediately need to be torn down, officials said.

The Department of Buildings has issued a full vacate order for the Bruson Building, near 74th Street, but a spokeswoman for the department said as of now, the agency is not ordering that it be torn down.

"The building is stable at this time," she said. The building's owner will have an engineer on scene to monitor the rear wall of the building, which has significant damage.

Windows have been boarded up and there is now a sidewalk shed on the street, she added.

The fire broke out around 5:45 p.m. on Monday, FDNY officials said, sending flames shooting out the third and fourth floor of the building and filling the neighborhood with smoke.

The FDNY said Wednesday that the fire remains under investigation by fire marshals, but a source told DNAinfo that it was not believed to be suspicious. 

Dozens of local businesses and organizations utilized the building, including Plaza Business College, where a source said the fire originated, as well as an LGBT senior center, SAGE.

Queens Community House, which operates the LGBT center among many other programs, posted on their website that they are looking for space for SAT classes, adult education classes, immigrant services and more. 

The ground floor shops include a pharmacy, a stationary store and restaurants.

Armondo's, a neighborhood staple, posted a notice on their website Wednesday encouraging patrons to continue to check with them for updates as they work through the "operational setback."

"Thank you for all the wonderful years of patronage," the notice said.

The large fire was reminiscent of a 2010 blaze that broke out on 37th Avenue near 84th Street, which wiped out the entire block and destroyed stores.