NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many of the victims of Thursday night’s West Side fire were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

When flames began shooting out of the building and smoke started filling the hallways of the high-rise, panic set in for the people inside.

“You open the window and you hear people everywhere scream ‘help, please help,” Shruti Kulkarni told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.

Kulkarni was visiting her cousin who lives on the 7th floor. She heard the desperate cries of a mother and baby nearby. A neighbor down the hall brought them all into his apartment.

“He had wet towels for our faces to help us breathe better with the smoke,” she said.

Kulkarni and CBS2’s Layton looked over tweets she sent out while she was inside the apartment waiting for help.

“I was more scared at that moment because that was just when we realized what was going on,” she said.

In fact, a lot of people both inside and outside the building used Twitter to ask firefighters for help.

As they battled flames and intense smoke, firefighters told most people in the building to stay in their units.

“These are general safety rules and high-rise fire-proof buildings such as this,” FDNY Chief James Leonard said.

For some — including Caitlyn McArdle’s boyfriend — there was nowhere to go but up.

“He went out and couldn’t go down, so he went up to the roof and got stuck up there with our 65-lbs lab,” she said.

“We had nine people on the roof. We had good contact, we could watch them,” Leonard said. “They were safe on the roof. They were safe on the roof in this type of construction.”

As for Shruti and the others in that neighbor’s apartment.

“I’m just grateful we got out of there,” she said.



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