CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A fire broke out late Tuesday in a multi-story apartment building that was under construction in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, and spread to other buildings.

The fire broke out around 5:45 p.m. in the building at Walker Street and Cliff Lane, fire officials told CBS2.

Witnesses watched as windows flew off the building.

“I was in my house and I heard two explosions. I jumped and looked out the window and I saw this building behind us engulfed in flames,” Rick Ferrer told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Nearby residents said explosions could be felt blocks away.

“We just heard a big bang and shook kind of the whole house,” Justin Martone said.

Strong winds fueled the flames which could be seen several miles out. Burning debris flew to neighboring apartment buildings, forcing several families to be evacuated.

“I’ve never in my life seen flames spread so fast,” one witness said.

Multiple fire departments from the surrounding area, including the North Hudson Fire Department, were dispatched to the scene.

Fire officials said the gusting winds late Tuesday caused flying embers to spread the fire.

The bitter cold and icy conditions added to the challenge. Firefighters took nearly four hours to get the blaze under control.

Most of the buildings involved in the fire appear to have been under construction, officials said.

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