NEW YORK – A smoky three-alarm fire in construction materials closed a major bridge over the East River (search) on Tuesday afternoon but no injuries were reported.
The fire on the Queensboro Bridge (search), which appeared to have started in scaffolding and a tarp on the span's upper level, produced heavy smoke that could be seen for miles.
More than 100 firefighters were sent to the bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge (search), which connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, the Fire Department said.
Ted Timbers, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said restoration work had been under way on the upper deck. He said traffic was stopped in both directions and all vehicles were backed off the bridge.
Andrew Troisi, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management, said the fire involved scaffolding that had been erected to paint the bridge.
Firefighters initially had difficulty getting water up to the fire, but used a relay operation to haul it up from the ground, according to Tara Goodnight, another emergency management spokeswoman.
The landmark steel bridge was completed in 1909 and spans the East River between 59th Street in Manhattan and Long Island City in Queens.