A massive fire engulfed the Dim Sum Palace restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown on Sunday night, officials said, leaving half a dozen firefighters injured and several families displaced.
The fire was first reported shortly before midnight on Saturday at the rear of the ground floor restaurant, before spreading throughout the four-storey mixed-use building and becoming a five-alarm fire, officials said. About 170 firefighters spent more than six hours battling “the huge volume of fires,” according to FDNY Deputy Chief Tom Currao.
Half a dozen firefighters were hospitalized with minor injuries, authorities said. No resident was injured.
A Red Cross spokesperson said two households were being given temporary accommodation, while two other families had moved out on their own.
While the cause of the fire was still under investigation on Sunday afternoon, officials said conditions inside the building – located at 6 Chatham Square – may have played a role in worsening flames.
“In a lot of these older buildings, there are a lot of hidden spaces where fire can spread,” Currao said Sunday. “With so much volume of water we were bringing to the building, it was difficult to turn it on and off.”
The blaze comes just two weeks after another early morning blaze killed two people – a 52-year-old man and his 91-year-old mother – at a flat in nearby Mulberry Street.
Mei Lum, the owner of nearby Wing on Wo, said she woke up early on Sunday to thick clouds of smoke above her Mott Street flat and immediately thought of the recent blaze.
“It’s just devastating to think of how little time [since the last fire] and the kind of displacement that happens to small business owners and residents,” Lum told Gothamist.
“There’s something really intense about seeing your neighborhood on fire like that,” she added. “It’s really hard to re-ground yourself when one thing happens after another.”