A two-alarm fire in New Jersey destroyed three homes early Saturday morning, leaving nine people homeless, officials said.
The fire began on the top floor of a two-family home on Smith Street in Newark at approximately 3:30 a.m. and quickly engulfed the entire building and two adjacent homes.
One resident, who would only identify herself as D, said she barely had time to grab her four young children before the walls went up in flames.
"When I woke up the windows were on fire," she said. "I just got the kids and ran out of there."
Firefighters responded and were able to contain the blaze before it could spread to other homes, officials said. The nine residents in the three damaged homes were able to escape the blaze safely.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, though investigators say a squatter may have been responsible.