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Fire Breaks Out at Upper East Side Apartment Building, FDNY Says

By  Shaye Weaver and Carolina Pichardo | February 1, 2016 3:33pm | Updated on February 1, 2016 5:52pm

 Firefighters flooded East 68th Street, between First and Second avenues, on Monday after a fire broke out inside the basement of an apartment building, according to the FDNY.
A fire broke out in an apartment building on East 68th Street Monday
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UPPER EAST SIDE — A blaze broke out at an Upper East Side apartment building Monday afternoon after cables installed by workers in the basement earlier in the day caught fire, the FDNY said. 

Firefighters responded to a call of flames at 333 E. 68th St., between First and Second avenues, at 1:37 p.m.

There were two minor injuries but no one needed to be taken to the hospital, according to the FDNY.

The blaze was put out at 2:59 p.m., a spokesman said.

Louise Godine, 67, who has lived in the building for more than 35 years, stood across the street watching firefighters open the windows of her apartment on the third floor.

“It’s phenomenal. The [streets] are packed with firefighters,” she said. “Smoke was billowing out of the left corner of the building when I got here. I had just come down the street after taking the crosstown bus.”

An FDNY official at the scene said the fire started when cables that were installed earlier in the day by Con Edison workers in the basement caught fire, spreading into the building.

Firefighters had to wait until Con Ed turned off the electricity in order to put out the fire in the basement, authorities at the scene said. 

Con Edison did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The fire produced very heavy smoke and high level of carbon monoxide inside the building, the FDNY said.  

The Robert Louis Stevenson School, P.S. 183 on East 66th Street, sent an email to parents on Monday afternoon saying there was a fire in the neighborhood but that dismissal would proceed as usual.

Residents were still waiting for more instructions and information from the fire department as of 4:15 p.m.