WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of families in New Jersey have been left homeless after a fire tore through an apartment building overnight.

As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, flames started shooting from the windows of the West New York apartment building on Hudson Avenue and 51st Street around 11 p.m. Friday.

The fire tore through the top floor in a matter of minutes.

Odalys Zelya said she going to sleep when the blaze started. “And then everybody started, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire” she said.

Zelya said she immediately ran out of her apartment on the first floor. She spent Saturday morning looking at the damage in disbelief.

“It’s very sad. I have two kids, so I have no house. Now what I can do?” she said.

Janet lived on the top floor of the building right next door to the apartment where the fire began. She told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern her first thought was to make sure everyone got out safely.

“We lost everything because, I mean, the majority of our neighbors got to at least gather some of their stuff. We didn’t,” she said. “Because we were up and down, just knocking on everyone’s doors.”

“We just ran out,” said Kelly Vidals, who lived on the second floor. “Couldn’t get anything. All I got was my daughter and ran out.”

Vidals said she lost almost everything.

“A police sergeant saw smoke coming out of the building,” said Robert Morrison, battalion chief with North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue. “He went on the top floor, where he saw an occupant still in the apartment.”

According to Morrison, the tenant tried putting out the fire himself for almost an hour before it tore through the top level.

The sergeant pulled him from the apartment just in time.

“He said when he was going out the door, the fire was combing toward him from the other rooms,” Morrison said.

Dozens of families escaped the fire without injury. The flames were so intense that the tenants in the building next door had to evacuate as well.

“The first thing you do is just run,” said Dennis Feliciano.

Feliciano, his wife and two young boys were evacuated from the neighboring building.

“Oh man, it’s just crazy because I never seen things like this before,” he said.

Firefighters battled dangerous conditions. At one point, part of the roof collapsed right above them, Gold reported.

Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

Twenty-two families are now without homes, Stern reported. The Red Cross is helping the victims.

The fire is still under investigation, but officials believe the stove may have been the cause, Gold reported.

Comments

Leave a Reply