NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Officials are investigating the cause of a fire that ripped through a home in Brooklyn Friday morning.
The flames broke out at a three-story residential building around 6:30 a.m. Friday on 42nd Street and 10th Avenue in Borough Park.
“The alarms went off, so we got everyone together out the house to make sure nobody died in there,” homeowner Ricardo Grey, who has lived on the first floor for three decades, told CBS ’2 Weijia Jiang.
“We just started screaming because the people upstairs were sleeping,” resident Laura Gonzalez said. “We were all up; we said, “Get everybody, get out.’”
Gonzalez lived in the multi-family home for 20 years.
“Everything we ever owned is gone,” Gonzalez said. “But thank God everybody that was in that house is alive, that’s all that’s really important.”
Fire officials said the three-alarm blaze broke out in the basement and quickly spread up through the building, gutting the entire structure.
“Due to the construction features in these old buildings, there were numerous voids,” Deputy Fire Chief Robert Strong said. “The fire extended rapidly from the basement up through the first, second, third floor and into the attic.”
Nearly 200 firefighters battled the blaze which left three families homeless. Among the 17 people who were displaced are Grey’s two grandchildren — an infant and a 1-year-old — and his elderly mother. The Red Cross is helping residents until they find new homes.
Four firefighters and one civilian sustained minor injuries, officials said. Grey’s dog and two cats did not survive the blaze.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.