Massive NJ Blaze Damages Buildings, Displaces Residents

Monday, Apr 19, 2010  |  Updated 8:01 AM EDT
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Fire Destroys Two NJ Apartment Buildings

A. Kilpatrick

The blaze's billowing black smoke can be seen miles away.

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Fire Destroys Two NJ Apartment Buildings

Several firefighters were injured and at least four dozen people were forced from their homes when a blaze tore through two buildings in Union City. Ida Siegal reports.
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Dozens of firefighters are battling a smoky blaze in Union City that has severely damaged at least three buildings and destroyed several cars.

About 50 people who lived in two of the buildings were evacuated when the four-alarm fire broke out around 11 a.m. Sunday on Palisades Avenue, between 13th and 14th streets. The American Red Cross and other agencies arrived to help the residents.

Authorities say six firefighters sustained minor injuries. No further details were available.

Firefighters contended with the smoke as flames shot out of the buildings. They had the fire contained by 1:30 p.m., and it was brought under control a short time later.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, Jersey City Fire Director Armando Roman said.

Some witnesses speculated that a car fire may have sparked the blaze. They reported hearing several "booms'' shortly after the fire spread, which officials say were vehicles exploding.

Most of the destroyed vehicles were inside the garage, officials said. Others were parked on nearby streets.

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