December 14, 2018 2:49 pm
Updated: December 14, 2018 2:54 pm

Video captures terrifying moment New York firefighters engulfed by powerful backdraft

ABOVE: Harrowing moments were captured on camera Thursday as a backdraft caused a 5-alarm New York City fire to unexpectedly explode.

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NEW YORK – A fire raged through a row of businesses in New York City early Thursday, collapsing part of a roof and injuring 12 people including seven firefighters.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, Emergency Medical Services Chief James Booth said at the scene.

The fire was reported in a restaurant around 2:15 a.m. Thursday on Queens Boulevard, and the flames spread between the roof and ceilings to neighbouring businesses. About six businesses were affected, according to Assistant Fire Chief Anthony DeVita Jr.

Orange flames shot into the air and smoke engulfed the neighbourhood of Sunnyside.

READ MORE: Child playing with stove caused New York City’s deadliest residential fire in decades, mayor says

At least a dozen firefighters were in the immediate area when an apparent “smoke explosion” erupted and the roof collapsed, DeVita said.

“The chiefs on scene were proactive,” he said. “They saw this was an advanced fire and they began to back the troops out. Because they took that action, that more than likely prevented more serious injuries.”

Nearly 200 firefighters and emergency personnel worked to prevent the fire from spreading to other structures.

Fire officials said the blaze was under control and the cause was under investigation.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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