From the Times Ledger:
The 83-year legacy of a Maspeth bar and restaurant ended in flames Monday morning, when O’Neill’s was was completely gutted by a five-alarm fire.
Hundreds of residents stood in the street and watched the neighborhood institution burn to the ground throughout the night.
“Hundreds of people were out,” said George O’Neill, the owner of the bar. “And do you know what they were doing? They were crying.”
The blaze began at around 11:30 p.m. and originated in the basement kitchen, according to firefighters at the scene
Employees of the restaurant said that after an uncontrollable grease fire, several cooks ran up the stairs amid smoke and told yelled for everyone to get out.
The roughly 20 people patronizing and working at the bar were all evacuated by the time firefighters arrived at the scene.
Two girls who lived next door had to flee their house and the FDNY had to evacuate the apartment building next door, according to Deputy Chief Mark Cuccurullo of the FDNY.