Investigators say the fire started just before 3:00 a.m. in a Laundromat on the first floor of the four-story building on Browne Street in Flushing.
More than 140 firefighters and 35 units responded to the scene.
17 firefighters suffered minor injuries and two residents were taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation.
The fire took about two-and-a-half hours to bring under control.
Fire marshals are investigating what sparked the flames.
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