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Forest Hills Fire Sparked By Overheated AC Unit, FDNY Says

 Italian eatery Biu Bella remains closed following a fire last week.
Italian eatery Biu Bella remains closed following a fire last week.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — Fire marshals investigating the blaze at a Forest Hills restaurant last week concluded that it was caused by an overheated air conditioning unit, officials said.

The fire, which sent black plumes of smoke into the air, erupted May 24 around 5:30 p.m. on the roof of Italian restaurant Biu Bella at 107-02 Queens Blvd. and was contained about 45 minutes later, authorities said.

One person sustained minor injuries, but refused medical attention, the FDNY said.

The owners of the restaurant told DNAinfo New York they were not sure when the eatery will reopen as they were waiting for the landlord to assist them with repairs to the building's roof, which sustained the most damage.

They also said that in the meantime they are hoping to open the restaurant’s greenhouse, a porch with a glass roof in the back of the eatery.

The owners of the property, RJ Capital Holdings, announced plans in December to demolish the single-story structure housing the restaurant in order to make room for an 8-story luxury office building.

It was not immediately clear when the complex at 107-02 through 107-16 Queens Blvd., which also includes Party World, a dry cleaner and other stores, will be torn down.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's website, RJ Capital Holdings filed an application in January for the Brownfield Cleanup Program, but it was not immediately clear what kind of contaminants were discovered at the site.

The DEC did not immediately respond to an email seeking additional details.

A representative for RJ Capital Holdings declined to comment.