BAYONNE, NJ (CBSNewYork) — Flames and heavy smoke ripped through three buildings in Bayonne, New Jersey, leaving one woman dead.

The four-alarm fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at 36th and Broadway and then spread to the neighboring buildings.

Someone walking by on the street initially called 911, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported. Most of the people who live inside the buildings were asleep when they said they started smelling smoke and rushed to get out.

“Oh my God, I could hardly see. I don’t know how I made it downstairs,” victim Nancy Heymer said. “I just had to do it.”

42-year-old Ruvee Yao was killed in the blaze. Yao co-owned the mixed used building with her mother and ran the Kumon reading center on the first floor.

Ruvee Yao (Credit: CBS2)

Fire officials still haven’t released the cause of this fire, but they say it does not appear to be suspicious. The office of emergency management says the buildings were badly damaged and will be likely be completely demolished.

Sixteen people were displaced by the fire and are being helped by the Red Cross. Three firefighters also suffered minor injuries.


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