Two people suffered minor injuries after a fire erupted on the roof of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens on Friday, fire officials said.
Emergency officials first received reports that a large cloud of black smoke was gushing from the top of the hospital in the Far Rockaway neighborhood around 5:15 p.m., they said. The fire was fully extinguished within an hour, the authorities said.
Videos posted on social media showed the plume of smoke at the hospital billowing out over the ocean, and visible across several sections of the borough.
Patients and staff in several departments, including the hospital’s emergency room, were evacuated as the blaze broke out, city officials said, while others remained sheltered in place as emergency workers searched the building. Officials said the two injured people were expected to be taken to other hospitals.
St. John’s Episcopal is an independent hospital with a 257-bed capacity, and is the only medical center providing emergency and ambulatory care to the Rockaway peninsula. The area has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus in New York City. The hospital has recently been the subject of proposed cuts that would drastically shrink its capacity.
A message left for a hospital spokesman was not immediately returned on Friday.