18 kids injured, one seriously, after fire breaks out at NYC daycare

A fire broke out in a Queens home operating as an illegal daycare center on Wednesday, sending one child to the hospital in serious condition and injuring 17 other kids, officials and sources said.

A lithium-ion battery from an electric scooter is believed to have caused a fire in the basement of the two-story home at 147-07 72nd Drive in Kew Gardens Hills just after 2 p.m., FDNY officials and sources said.

One child was transported to Cornell Hospital in serious condition for smoke inhalation, FDNY and sources said. 

The other 17 children were in stable condition and “refused medical attention on the scene,” according to FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Stacy Scanlon.

Officials have not released the victims’ ages.

Queens daycare fire
Eighteen children were injured after a fire broke out in the basement of a home in Queens.
Peter Gerber

Queens daycare fire
A lithium-ion battery caused a fire in the basement of the two-story home.
Peter Gerber
One child was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, officials said.

FDNY said they received a call for a basement fire shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday.


Firefighters put out the flames in about 40 minutes.

60 FDNY and EMS personnel responded to the scene.


“Companies arrived and found heavy fire in the basement. Firefighters removed some pediatric patients from the building, including one from the fire area in the basement. The fire was under control within 40 minutes and was confined to the basement,” said FDNY Chief of Operations John Esposito.

Roughly 60 fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene, according to FDNY.

Both a day care center and a dentist’s officer operated from the basement of the building, according to sources.

Fire Marshalls are investigating, FDNY said.

The Department of Buildings boarded up the home and the Red Cross is providing shelter to residents, sources said. No arrests were made but the city did issue citations for building violations.

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