Residents of Mitchell Houses Building #2 in Mott Haven were evacuated around noon Monday after a fire from a trash compactor sent smoke billowing from the 20-story building, fire officials said.
Five people were treated for injuries, including one firefighter, according to an email from the New York Fire Department. The fire on the first floor at 300 E. 138th St. was brought under control roughly 90 minutes after it broke out.
Three civilians declined medical assistance and a fourth was sent to Lincoln Hospital. A firefighter was sent to Jacobi Hospital, the department said. The extent of their injuries was not known.
Around noon, smoke was spotted billowing from an upper floor of the building. A fifth floor resident who declined to be identified said smoke had filled the halls of her floor before she was evacuated.
Pedro Rivera, 71, a resident of the Borinquen Court Senior Living facility, which faces Building #2, said he was on the way home from the grocery store when he spotted the fire.
Someone was waving a wet towel from one of the top floors, he said. “I feel sad for the poor people there. They must feel desperate.”