IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Red Cross is helping multiple families who were displaced by an early morning fire in Irvington, New Jersey.

The blaze broke out around 7:45 a.m. at a vacant home at 14th Avenue and 20th Street. The home collapsed to the ground, giving way to the fast-moving flames and heavy smoke filling the vacant rooms, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.

Firefighters battled frigid temperatures and smoke, but crews couldn’t get too close.

“We set up a collapse zone and we moved all members from the immediate area,” said Deputy Fire Chief Michael Thomas.

The flames quickly spread to two other homes, forcing out multiple families.

“We’re up to about seven or eight people,” said Thomas.

The Irvington Fire Department says the empty building where the fire started was under renovation.

“I saw PSEG working on the grounds yesterday,” said neighbor Kevin Lowe. “That house went in to an inferno. That house was just done.”

Arson investigators will arrive on the scene later Wednesday when it’s deemed safe to enter and comb through the debris left behind as they work to determine the cause of the fire.

At least one firefighter suffered a minor injury.


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