Firefighters Battled The Blaze For More Than 2 Hours

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Eleven people, including eight firefighters, suffered minor injuries after a four-alarm fire ripped through a six-story Queens residential building Tuesday night, officials said.

A New York Fire Department spokesman said 39 units and about 168 firefighters responded to the blaze in the Kew Gardens neighborhood just after 7 p.m. He said the fire was put under control at 9:15 p.m.

As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, hundreds of people were waiting to get back into the homes Tuesday night.

As flames shot out of windows, Good Samaritans raced to help those in danger.

“The lady’s husband was dragging him because he’s a double amputee, and pretty much, I picked him up and got him out because smoke consumed him quick,” said Pablo Herran, who was on third floor next to the apartment where he believes the fire began.

Officials said the building is not fire-proofed, so the flames flared up quickly. Four of the apartments were so badly damaged that it could take weeks before their tenants can return. Other residents were expected to be back in their homes around midnight.

“Members today did a fantastic job, extinguishing four apartments on fire,” said Charles Clarke, deputy fire chief. “This is a non-fireproof building, and there’s a lot of collapse inside the building. They were able to keep it to that line of apartments.”

The injured were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital.

A spokesman for the American Red Cross said disaster responders were on scene helping those affected obtain food, blankets and emergency housing.

The fire department will investigate to determine what caused the blaze.

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