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Dublin: 23°C Sunday 13 June 2021

Huge backdraft filmed by onlookers as New York Irish bar destroyed by fire

Twelve people were injured in the fire.


TWELVE PEOPLE WERE injured after a fire in a New York block that gutted several premises and caused a dramatic backdraft that was captured on camera. 

The fire in the Sunnyside area of Queens happened on Thursday morning with popular Irish bar Sidetracks among six different business that were destroyed.

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) said crews were working at the blaze throughout the early hours before it was brought under control.

Five members of the public and seven firefighters were injured in the fire but no life-threatening injuries were reported. 

PastedImage-15534 The early morning scene of the fire on Queen's Boulevard. Source: Twitter/FDNY

While attending the fire, a huge backdraft caused the firefighters to be engulfed by smoke for a number of seconds with onlookers capturing the scene. 

A backdraft is caused by a sudden injection of oxygen into a fire that causes smoke to expand rapidly. 

The FDNY confirmed that it occurred in this case but added that not of the crew were seriously injured. 

Bernard Reilly who has owned Sidetracks bar since 2012 told the New York Times that he was “in shock” after the late-night blaze.

Stores Fire Collapse The aftermath of the fire. Source: Seth Wenig/PA Images

A Go Fund Me appeal set up by a  local business organisation says that dozens of people have now been left unemployed.

“The toll on our business community is unimaginable, and for residents of our neighborhood, many precious memories of good times at these businesses are also up in smoke,” the appeal states. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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