Massive fire rips through NY apartment building in Hamilton Heights

Massive fire rips through NY apartment building in Hamilton Heights

Kerry Wise
November 19, 2017

Over 200 New York City Fire Department firefighters responded to a devastating 5 alarm fire at an apartment building located at Broadway and West 144 Street, Manhattan on Friday afternoon.

The fire was on the top two floors of the building.

Nine people suffered minor injuries in the fire: a police officer and a civilian suffered smoke inhalation, while seven firefighters had bumps and bruises, FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard said.

No injuries have been reported and it's unclear how many people were inside the building when the blaze started.

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Here's intense video showing the fire shortly after it started, including black smoke that could be seen for miles: Jose Tavarez lived on the sixth floor. There was a sidewalk shed outside the building as a precaution while crews made repairs to a damaged facade, but it wasn't clear whether construction had begun or if it played any role in the massive blaze. "We were afraid, we still are, we were afraid of the building collapsing", Leonard said. "I helped some elderly people get out with their pets and their family members". The wind fueled the fire and spread it quickly, a fire official said.

Entire top floor is heavily involved, it's still a very heavy, active fire scene. The Red Cross is now assisting 22 families, and will help them find a hotel.

No word yet on what caused the fire.