We’ve just returned from the fire at 240 East Houston Street. As we noted a few minutes ago, it does not appear any of residents were hurt, but three firefighters were treated for minor injuries. Parvez Ahmed, whose family runs Munchies (a restaurant across the street) told us he noticed the fire at about 540pm, as he was returning from getting his hair cut. He said there was smoke coming from the roof for about 45 minutes before something exploded, perhaps a propane tank.
Several residents said work was being done on the roof, but it is not known if that was a factor in the fire. A man who lives on the 5th floor says he was unsure where exactly the fire started. Firefighters added that much of the roof is now gone.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said an initial check of Buildings Department records did not turn up any serious violations. Gothamist has been looking over DOB records, as well, and highlights a complaint related to unauthorized scaffolding.
240 East Houston is actually four connected five story buildings clustered at the corner of Houston and Essex.
More to come…