About 50 people were forced from their homes on a frigid night as crews battled a six-alarm blaze that engulfed three buildings on a residential street in New Jersey, officials say.
The fire broke out on the top floor of a three-story building on 19th Street in Union City just before midnight Thursday, according to Frank Montaigne of the Hudson Regional Fire Department.
Flames quickly jumped to other buildings, and homes nearby were evacuated. Residents were forced onto the street in the frigid cold.
Firefighters' efforts were complicated by the single-digit temperatures, which caused hydrants and water nozzles to freeze and radios and other equipment to malfunction, said Montaigne . It was so cold that many firefighters had ice on their uniforms, and icicles quickly formed on once-burning parts of buildings.
"They weather is very difficult," Montaigne said. "You have single digits, very difficult, everything is freezing up."
Residents were being sheltered at a nearby school, fire officials say. No one was injured in the fire.
It's not clear what sparked the blaze.