Twenty-two people were hurt -- including 11 firefighters -- in a four-alarm fire in Crown Heights early Monday, fire officials said, just blocks from where revelers would soon march in the West Indian Day Parade.
The blaze, at 1365 Carroll St., started around 2:30 a.m. on the second floor of the renovated building before spreading, said Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Jack Mooney.
"I just ran out of the building and I actually saw flames," said resident Mushky Giro. "It was really scary."
Fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire. Officials said it might have been set intentionally because it was so fast-moving.
"If we had stayed in there for 20 more seconds, 30 more seconds, our chances for survival would have been very, very low," said Eli Raskin, whose third-floor apartment was destroyed. "We got out without a scratch."
Of the 22 people injured, the 11 civilians were treated at the scene. One firefighter was being treated for burns on his neck, another for chest pains, and eight for exhaustion at Kings County Hospital, Mooney said.