NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At least two people are dead after a fire ripped through an apartment building in the Bronx.
The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Monday at a building on Hoffman Street in the Belmont section.
“My friend says, he was waking me up, ‘it is a fire, it is a fire,” resident Melissa Douglas told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris. “And boy, was it a fire.”
“I heard the alarm going off so I woke up, told my family lets go to the door and check it and we opened the door and got on the fire escape and came out here,” said resident Derrick Gabbin.
When firefighters arrived, they were met with fire at the front door and had to battle that to get inside. Others headed straight for the fire escapes, where they helped residents down.
“The stairway was involved in the fire so the members had to push the fire back so they could get to the stairs,” said FDNY Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich. “Also we had members coming off the rear, off the fire escape. They actually go to the civilians who were trapped up there first, but then we had to get them down the stairs.”
In addition to the two males who died, authorities said nine others were also taken to area hospitals, including two females who are listed in critical condition. The ages or names of the victims have not been released.
Five firefighters also had minor injuries, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
“It’s horrible. This is the second one in this neighborhood,” said neighbor Carmen Nabedo. “It’s horrible. This shouldn’t happen.”
Just a few blocks away back in December, 13 people were killed in one of the city’s deadliest fires after authorities said an apartment door was left open, causing it to spread fast.
The cause of Monday’s fire is under investigation.