Three East Village buildings were obliterated in a sudden explosion Thursday afternoon.
The inferno on Second Avenue and East Seventh Street started as a gas leak from a nearby sushi restaurant and spiraled out of control.
According to The New York Times, at least 19 people were injured, four of whom are in critical condition.
A man who was on a date at the restaurant and a busboy are still missing.
Footage that appears to come from a security camera shows the exact moment of the explosion:
An off-duty firefighter immediately scaled the wreckage in search of trapped residents.
He reportedly told bystanders to back away before quickly climbing a fire escape and looking in every window, at least one of which he kicked through, The New York Daily News reports.
The firefighter left the site just 30 seconds or so before fire and smoke came billowing out of the building.
This last video is drone footage taken while firefighters extinguish the blaze from multiple angles.
Roughly 50 firefighters battled the flames well into last night, according to the Times.
Citations: Off duty firefighter scales burning building to save trapped residents after explosion in NYCs East Village (The New York Daily News), At Least 2 People Missing After East Village Explosion (The New York Times)