HAMILTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) — Dozens of residents have been forced from their homes after a 5-alarm fire in a Hamilton Heights apartment building early Saturday morning.
Officials say flames broke out around 2 a.m. at 617 W.141st St.
“Immediately, the flames came, so fast like this, so quick,” resident Evelyn Cabrera said.
Residents like Tiffany watched in disbelief as fire crews rummaged through her belongings.
“Once the fire became this huge fire that’s taking up the whole roof it was just like wow, am I going to lose my apartment, am I going to lose my whole 25 years of living here,” Tiffany said.
The blaze ravaged the top floor and cockloft of the building.
The fire was so intense that it sent 8 firefighters to the hospital.
The Fire Marshal says the fire in Upper Manhattan was accidental and caused by electrical wiring in the ceiling of the top floor.
“The fire came in as an odor of smoke and our units made their way inside the search for the odor. We found the fire on the top floor which is the sixth floor and that was already pretty advanced,” FDNY Chief John Hodgens said.
Red Cross says it is helping 37 families, 109 people, displaced by the fire. No residents from the building are able to reoccupy their units.
Residents told Eyewitness News that they are confused about what happens to them next, in part because they don’t know what was damaged inside their apartments. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced.
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