8 Injured In A Pair Of Morning Fires

507 E. 6th Street FireSuzanne Rozdeba Firefighters at the scene of a blaze at Kitchen, a restaurant on East Sixth Street. The fire was one of two this morning in the East Village that sent eight people to the hospital with minor injuries.

Eight people were treated for minor injuries after two separate early-morning fires that broke out in the East Village today, one that destroyed a restaurant on East Sixth Street, and the other in a bodega on Second Avenue.

The first blaze occurred at East Fourth Street and Second Avenue around 4 a.m. at the East Village Farm Groceries store, the authorities said. Seven residents of the six-story building were treated for minor injuries, officials said; all of the injured were taken to Beth Israel Hospital. The fire, which was confined to the first floor, was declared under control within an hour.

The second fire, at 507 East Sixth Street, occurred around 7:30 a.m. inside 6th Street Kitchen, a restaurant on the first floor. The authorities said that a firefighter sustained a minor injury while battling the blaze and was being treated at Bellevue Hospital.

Deputy Chief Robert Carroll told The Local that firefighters had to cut their way through the restaurant’s roll-down security gate before they could put out the fire.

The restaurant was all but destroyed by the blaze. “It’s pretty bad,” Chief Carroll said of the damage. “It’s all burnt out. We had to go in there, take the ceilings down, check for any hidden fire.”

Paul Canetti, 27, who lives on the building’s third floor and was with his girlfriend, told The Local, “I woke up at 7:30. We heard the beeps from the fire alarms. We started to smell smoke. We opened the front door, and you couldn’t see in the hallway. It was filled with smoke.”

After exiting the building safely, he said, “A couple minutes later, the fire trucks came. They cut the locks off the restaurant gate. When they lifted it up, the flames came shooting out.”

David Gold, 32, who also lives on the third floor, said, “We heard four, loud pops. They sounded like gunshots. That woke me up. Then the smoke alarm went off and we came down and called 911.”

Tom Claxton, 35, who was staying at a friend’s apartment in the building, said, “I heard this large, cracking noise, and then the fire alarm started. A few minutes later I smelled smoke. I panicked, grabbed my laptop and a couple of things and got out. I just got in last night from London, and this was my first night here. Most of my things are still in a suitcase upstairs.”

The authorities said that investigators are still trying to determine what caused both blazes.

507 E. 6th St. FireSuzanne Rozdeba A firefighter surveys the damage to the 6th Street Kitchen.