Hamilton Heights fire engulfs roof of apartment building

Hamilton Heights fire engulfs roof of apartment building

Almost 200 firefighters are battling a fast-growing, now five-alarm fire that is tearing through an apartment building in Hamilton Heights Friday afternoon, sending dark plumes of smoke billowing over northern Manhattan, WPIX reports.

The fire broke out about 3:00pm on Friday (local time) in a six-storey building in Harlem, according to the New York Post.

At least 200 FDNY firefighters are on the scene trying to put the fire out.

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There were four minor injuries reported, three to firefighters, and one to another person at the scene.

Heavy smoke and orange flames could be seen pouring through the building's roof, with strong wind making the blaze hard to contain. It is unclear what exactly sparked the fire in the six story building. "We were afraid, we still are, we were afraid of the building collapsing", Leonard said. They helped each other evacuate, and began evacuating pets.

Residents said the fire started in 6E. "It was a wind driven fire that rapidly pushed the fire into the top floor, into the cockloft area which is the space between the top floor ceiling and the underside of the roof". One resident was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

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The American Red Cross has opened a reception area in the neighbourhood to assist families left homeless by the fire.

The FDNY said the fire and the water used on the fire have likely caused major damage to the building, which is about 100 years old.

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