JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — What started as small flames from the back of a row home quickly turned into a four-alarm blaze on Sunday afternoon.
Dozens of people were forced out in the cold, unsure when they could return home, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
Flames burst out of a kitchen window and quickly spread. No one was hurt, but within minutes smoke was seen billowing out from the walls of two row homes on Summit Avenue in Jersey City.
“We were in the apartment when we open up the door (and) all the hall was a lot of smoke, so it was running, running, running,” resident Marimer Navarrett said. “We step out, we saw five fire trucks here.”
Jersey City fire officials said due to high winds it quickly turned into a four-alarm fire. However, firefighters were able to get the blaze under control within an hour.
Units at 1004 Summit Ave., suffered water damage and residents were allowed back in, but people who live next door, at 1006 Summit Ave., where witnesses said the fire originated, were not allowed to return home, Rozner reported.
“It’s sad. My friend lives in one of the apartment in the next building, so I just give her a hug and tell her that’s she’s not alone and she’s not. we’re going to be there for her,” resident Marian Betancourt said.
A spokesperson from the Red Cross told CBS2 the organization is assisting more than two dozen people from seven families as a result of this fire, giving them a temporary place to stay, food and clothing
Also helping are members of the Hope Church in Jersey City. Congregants like Jeanne Garroway spent the day helping clean up what they could.
“We’re a huge church family with a lot of love, so I’m sure we’ll all come together and help them restore. They’re safe and their children are safe. We’re just grateful to God that everybody is fine,” Garroway said.
The Jersey City Fire Department said the cause of the fire is under investigation.