A massive fire is raging through a parking garage in Brooklyn, leaving at least 21 firefighters and civilians injured.
More than 200 firefighters are tackling a seven-alarm fire that began before 9am at the parking garage of the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn.
Multiple cars went up in flames inside the parking garage, spreading to another floor and quickly elevating the severity of the blaze within an hour.
Dramatic video and photos show huge plumes of thick black smoke billowing in the air while emergency crews work to contain the blaze.
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A large blaze began Monday morning at a parking garage of the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn Massive fire tears through Brooklyn shopping center parking garage
More than 200 firefighters are trying to put out the seven alarm fire
Multiple cars caught fire around 9am and the blaze quickly spread to another level
The FDNY reports 21 injuries, three to civilians and 18 to firefighters, which are non-life threatening.
Rescue workers have suffered various levels of smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion while tackling the fire, according to authorities.
Officials say vehicles initially caught fire on the second floor of the parking garage in Marine Park, Brooklyn.
The flames then spread to an additional floor setting more cars on fire but did not reach any stores in the mall.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said By 11am most of the fire was ‘virtually extinguished’ and crew are now checking for structural damage.
Nigro said: ‘Units responded and found there to be multiple cars being stored here by a local car dealer, perhaps as many as 120. We’re not sure yet how many of them burned, but many of these cars were involved in this fire.’
Witnesses reported hearing loud popping sounds, which Nigro said were tires exploding.
Dramatic photo and video shows thick dark smoke billowing in the air
Dramatic video and pictures show thick black smoke billowing from the scene
Those with heart or lung conditions such as asthma to avoid the area, stay indoors and keep windows closed due to smoke
The fire quickly spread within an hour, accelerating to a seven alarm fire
A FDNY firefighter cools off after working a seven-alarm fire at the Kings Plaza Shoppin
‘Any time you have a car fire, you’re likely to have certainly tires explode,’ Nigro said.’ ‘And much of what they heard were tires on these multiple vehicles exploding many times. Very dangerous for our members, and for anybody nearby,’ he added.
The mall opens at 10am and was closed to the public when the fire began.
A shopping center spokeswoman warned the public to ‘avoid the area while the FDNY respond to the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Nigro said, adding that the heat, confined space and toxic smoke make this an especially challenging fire to fight.
Those with heart or lung conditions such as asthma to avoid the area, stay indoors and keep windows closed due to smoke.
A policewoman directs traffic during a seven-alarm fire while the public is urged to avoid the area
Smoke billows out of the Kings Plaza Shopping Center Monday morning