NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More than a dozen NYPD officers had to be treated for smoke inhalation after responding to a fire at an apartment building in the Bronx.
The fire broke out shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday on Baychester Avenue in the Wakefield section.
Tenants scrambled to escape as the flames spread. Two were hurt – one taken to the hospital in serious but non-life-threatening condition.
“People banging on the door, ‘get out, get out, there’s a fire in the building, there’s fire in the building.’ So I got my daughter up and my grandson and I said, ‘run, let’s get out of here,’” tenant Turina Blair told CBS2’s Reena Roy. “It was scary, yes, very scary.”
“I looked through the window and I heard passersby in the car yelling, ‘get out, get out, fire, fire,’” said tenant Sandra Taylor. “When I got outside, I saw the huge fire.”
Windows in the building were blown out, and some doors were broken down by emergency responders. Thick black soot now covers the walls and floors.
“I have a 9-year-old with autism, I have a 15-year-old and I have 20-year-old. So I was just trying to hurry up and get them out the building,” tenant Alicia Morales said. “Hard to breathe, can’t hardly breathe.”
“It’s just a mess, it really is,” another tenant added. “Very scary situation.”
The Red Cross said it is assisting five families who were left without homes just a week before Thanksgiving.
The 14 injured police officers were all treated and released.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.