An explosion shook the East Village neighbourhood of Manhattan shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday, causing a massive fire and a partial building collapse.
Tarun Kundu, owner of the collapsed building’s ground-level printing shop Kings Copies, was in the building when it caught fire, and he saw his beloved business ostensibly burn to the ground.
“I fell out of my chair because of the noise and vibrations,” Kundu says. The glass store window shattered. “I get up, I look at all the smoke, and I just get out — without my shoes!”
He says he was the only employee inside. A single customer ran out with him.
“First, I thought maybe [it was] a manhole explosion. Normally it happens,” Kundu says. “But then I saw the smoke coming from the building.”
Tenants gathered outside, contemplating the cause of the explosion, and police quickly ushered them away. Kundu says the landlord has not yet contacted him as to the cause of the fire or the state of his store.
“Eighteen years, this is my business. Eighteen years, this my store,” Kudnu says, wearing a ragged pair of Birkenstocks in the light rain. “My store is completely finished.”
After speaking with Business Insider, Kundu walked to the train to go home to Queens.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.