Fire engulfs buildings, causes subway delays

A three-alarm fire that started at a Laundromat on Southern Boulevard near Simpson Street engulfed six businesses before it was contained Wednesday evening.

According to fire officials, thick smoke and high winds made it difficult to put out the flames. Nearly 140 firefighters and 30 pieces of equipment were called to the scene to help control the blaze. It took firefighters two hours to put out the fire.

The fire also affected subway service in the area, temporarily suspending the 2 and 5 trains from 149th Street-3rd Avenue to the East 180th Street Station.

A pet store tragically was destroyed in the fire. Officials say most of the store?s pets did not survive, but firefighters did rescue two cats, four lizards and a parrot.

Firefighters evacuated nearby buildings and closed the surrounding streets. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries and were taken to Jacobi Medical Center. An additional three firefighters were treated on the scene for minor injuries.

Click to see Chopper 12 footage of the Southern Blvd. fire

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