Deadly 5-alarm SoHo fire called ‘suspicious’

Posted at 7:58 PM, Jan 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-10 23:08:16-05

After a nearly 3-hour battle, firefighters knocked down a stubborn blaze that killed one, injured nine and consumed the entire building at 41-Spring Street in SoHo Thursday evening, according to officials.

Two civilians and seven firefighters were injured by the fire, which broke out around 6:40 p.m. and reached 5 alarms by 8 p.m.  The injured were taken to New York Downtown Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

SoHo fire

Firefighters battle the blaze at 41 Spring St. (Jay Dow/PIX11 News)

According to two independent sources, fire marshals are investigating the fire as an arson case and police have taken a person into custody.FireAudience

Noemi Gutierrez, visiting from California, said she witnessed an argument between two men in front of the building just minutes before she noticed it was on fire.

Gutierrez told PIX11, “When people started coming out of the building, we heard an argument between two individuals – two men. There was one man who looked like he was upset, standing in front of the door, looking like he really didn’t want anyone coming inside of the building. He was letting people out of the building, but it seemed like he had a harder time letting people inside the building.”FireOrange

“I don’t know how the fire started. I just came back – and now I have no home,” said a woman named Sandra who returned home to see her building in flames.