GARMENT DISTRICT — The Fashion Institute of Technology had to be evacuated after a fire in the main building produced dangerous carbon monoxide levels, fire officials said Wednesday.
The fire, which broke out in the basement of 227 West 27th St., the school's main address, just after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, and was brought under control within an hour and a half, FDNY officials said.
But when firefighters found elevated levels of the gas at that building, they evacuated it and surrounding buildings according to fire officials and witnesses at the scene.
The exact levels were not immediately available.
Staffers were still barred from re-entering the A, B, C and D buildings due to carbon monoxide concerns shortly before noon, witnesses said.
Two FIT security officers had to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to FIT officials.
Tommy Carbone, a construction worker on the roof of the building at the time of the fire said he and his coworkers had to be evacuated.
"They had to evacuate us out a different way because the smoke was so bad," Carbone said.
FIT officials confirmed the evacuation and said the cause was still under investigation.
"At about 9:15 this morning there was a fire in the basement of the Feldman building. There was a worker working down there," said Cheri Fein, director of public and media relations. "The building was immediately evacuated."
She said all academic buildings, museum and library will remain closed throughout the day on Wednesday into Wednesday night, but residence halls will remain open as do the 7th Avenue building offices.
Alerts were sent to students via phone and social media, Fein said.