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BY LEVAR ALONZO
A massive six-alarm fire ripped through a Tribeca building just a few blocks from City Hall last Friday evening, and sent nearly two dozen firefighters to the hospital.
Fire officials were on alert while battling the blaze that spread throughout the building because authorities believed there might be old ammunition still stored in the basement from a long-defunct shooting range.
The five story building at the corner of Murray and Church street started to billow smoke just about 6:30 pm. Fire Marshals believe that the fire started inside the ground floor duct of the Famiglia pizzeria and worked its way up to the roof through the ventilation system. The exact cause of the blaze is still undetermined.
About 50 fire units were dispatched with more than 200 firefighters battling the blaze that raged for nearly three hours before it was brought under control, according to the FDNY.
The department said that 23 firefighters were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries. Two additional firefighters were treated on the scene. Building occupants were able to quickly evacuate, and no other injuries were reported.
According to the Department of Buildings, the mixed-used retail building has eight outstanding violations — mostly related to an illegal eating and drinking establishment in the cellar. Three of those violations, totaling $4,800, are for not having proper fire resistant material, and fire exits at the basement club Remix.