Trapped Woman Rescued from North Bergen Fire

Firefighters saw her in the window and knew where to look.

By Brian Thompson
|  Thursday, Jan 12, 2012  |  Updated 6:19 AM EDT
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Firefighters battled a heavy fire in North Bergen, N.J., that erupted in a strip of buildings Wednesday along Broadway and briefly trapped a woman who had to be rescued. Ida Siegal reports.

NBC New York

Firefighters battled a heavy fire in North Bergen, N.J., that erupted in a strip of buildings Wednesday along Broadway and briefly trapped a woman who had to be rescued. Ida Siegal reports.

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Woman Rescued in 4-Alarm NJ Fire

Firefighters met a raging wall of fire inside a building in North Bergen, N.J. Wednesday, with flames shooting through the roof and spreading to nearby businesses. Luckily for a woman trapped inside, firefighters got there quickly. Brian Thompson reports.
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Firefighters battled a heavy fire in North Bergen, N.J., that erupted in a strip of buildings Wednesday along Broadway and briefly trapped a woman who had to be rescued.

The fire began midday in a three-story building along Broadway, near 74th Street, and was brought under control hours later. A Fire Department source tells NBC New York that authorities are investigating a space heater near a curtain as the possible cause.

Deputy Fire Chief Frank Montagne said his firefighters were met by a "wall of fire" when they entered the building, but they had spotted a woman in the window and knew where to look for her.

She was found in her apartment, conscious but overcome by smoke, Montagne said. Firefighters carried her down a ladder and she was taken to a hospital.

The woman in her 40s, identified as Elizabeth DeJesus, suffered smoke inhalation and possible burns, officials said. She is the mother of a North Bergen police officer.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries in the fire.

A fire official told NBC New York the first two sections of the multi-section building will have to be knocked down Thursday.

The businesses in the strip where the fire broke out include a dry cleaners, a shoe repair and a clothing boutique.

The other buildings in the area are a mix of commercial and residential, with many first-floor storefronts below apartments.

Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY

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