YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two people are in critical condition and three others are stable after they were rescued from an apartment building in Yonkers, where a fire broke out Friday morning.

Residents ran out of the 10-story building at 1160 Midland Avenue around 9 a.m. when the hallways and their apartments started filling up with smoke.

“He was barking because there was a fire, but I wasn’t realizing, I thought it was the TV. I turned off the TV, opened the door, and the hallway was filled with smoke,” said April Rodriguez, who lives on the fourth floor where the fire started.

“I smelled smoke and then I woke my dad up,” 10-year-old Kendall Russell said. “But then he said he didn’t believe me, and I said ‘Come on, daddy. Come on.’ And then he saw it and he told us to get dressed very quickly.”

“At first I was in disbelief, I didn’t believe her until I got up, and that’s when we started to move very quickly,” her father, James Russell, said.

Fire officials said the fire started in the bedroom of a fourth floor apartment, where they rescued a World War II veteran and his adult daughter who were overcome by smoke, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported. They were rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

“He is the sweetest man, hopefully he is OK. He’s always happy, smiling. Everybody knows him, loves him,” Rodriguez said.

One man was outside walking his dog while his family was inside the burning building.

“I ran up the stairs as everyone was coming down to get them out,” he said.

Firefighters brought hoses inside, stretching them upstairs and telling residents above the flames to stay put, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported.

“There were people up on the upper floors on their balconies and what we did was we protected them in place, in the fire service we can’t remove everybody from a building this size very quickly,” Thomas Fitzpatrick, of the Yonkers Fire Department, said.

Three firefighters also sustained minor injuries.

Authorities said the fire may have been caused by smoking a cigarette in bed, Stern reported.

Fire officials said there was not a working smoke detector in the unit where the fire broke out.


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