fire hospital new york

Dramatic photos shared on social media showed the thick black smoke on Friday afternoon
A New York City hospital was ablaze on Friday, with two people reported injured as firefighters battled the rooftop flames and huge black plumes of smoke billowed into the sky.

The two-alarm fire was reported at the 257-bed St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, Queens at 5:15pm, a New York Fire Department spokesman told

Twenty five units were responding, with 106 fire fighters and other first responders on the scene.

Two civilians have been injured, he said, but the extent of their injuries are unclear. He did not know if the entire hospital has been evacuated.

The fire was on the exterior roof, he said, and it was unclear how it began.

He said the fire remained 'active' but was not out of control.

NYPD officials told Pix11 that the hospital's emergency room had been evacuated.

Photos and video shared on social media showed the roof of the building on fire.

The thick cloud of black smoke billowing out across Rockaway beach was visible from Manhattan, 20 miles away.

The hospital, founded 110 years ago, is described on its website as the only facility providing 'emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved populations of the Rockaways and Five Towns in southern Queens County and southwestern Nassau County, New York.'

Video shared on social media showed people running out of the hospital.

Some medics in their scrubs were standing outside the facility, filming and photographing the roof on fire.