ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities are trying to determine what started a 4-alarm fire that destroyed three townhouses in Elizabeth.

The Red Cross is helping more than a dozen families that were displaced after Tuesday night’s blaze on Monroe and Fairmount Avenue.

It took firefighters from two counties more than two hours to bring the fire under control. At least three townhouses were destroyed.

“We just saw the fire started and we came outside and I just got my children. Whatever we have on, that’s all we have. We have nothing else left and we lost everything,” cried Suzie Raposo, a single mother of three.

Heavy smoke forced surrounding homes to be evacuated.

One firefighter and two residents were treated for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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