NBC edged ABC in a heated firefighter-show battle Thursday, but the ratings conflagration did nothing to douse NCAA basketball numbers on CBS.

NBC’s two back-to-back Chicago Fire episodes (1.2 demo rating, 6.78 million viewers) may have dampened viewing for the 9-11 PM launch of ABC’s firehouse-set Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19, which clocked a modest 1.2 demo rating and 5.42 million viewers off Grey’s 1.9 and 7.5M.

But preliminary data for the live games coverage suggests CBS’ NCAA coverage torched both firefighting shows. Non-time zone adjusted stats show NCAA clocking a 2.4 demo rating and more than 8M viewers on CBS.

That puts CBS (2.4, 8.05M) ahead for primetime night, besting ABC (1.4/6.11M) and NBC (1.1, 5.64M).

Fox (0.7, 2.40M) followed with Gotham (0.7, 2.44M) up 1/10th and Showtime at the Apollo (0.6, 2.37M) steady.

CW’s Supernatural (0.3, 970K) and Arrow (0.2, 610K) repeats cooked up a network average for the night of 0.3 demo rating and 790K viewers.