A devastating five-alarm fire ripped through a Brooklyn building early this morning, leaving one person dead and another missing. Some Williamsburg residents say they heard an explosion before the fire.

According to the FDNY, the fire occurred at 40 Richardson Street, a three-story building just a block from McCarren Park, on the second and third floors as well as the rear tenement. A male body was found on the second floor.

FDNY ladder extended right over the back of the burning building. Waiting to get the hoses turned on.

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Within a couple of minutes they had him hooked up and he started spraying the fire from the rear of the building.

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FDNY scoping out their options from the rooftop next to the burning building, engulfed in smoke.

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The Daily News reports that residents said they heard an explosion, and one neighbor tells WCBS 2, "I just heard a massive explosion. It sounded like a bomb went off or something — massive flames coming out of the building and then the fire trucks."

There are six apartments in the building. A fire insurance appraiser told the Post, "One woman said she was sleeping and she started to smell smoke... [Then] neighbors were banging at her door and they were all getting out of the apartment."


Crews are still searching for another resident who was believed to be in the building; NBC New York reports that as of 6:45 a.m., the person hasn't been accounted for.