21 Rescued from Burning Apartment Building in New Jersey: Officials - NBC New York

21 Rescued from Burning Apartment Building in New Jersey: Officials

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fire and Ice: Crews Battle Apartment Fire in Extreme Cold

    Freezing weather made it a miserable night for crews battling a fire in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Stefan Holt reports. (Published Friday, Dec. 16, 2016)

    Nearly two dozen people were rescued from a burning apartment building in New Jersey Thursday, fire officials say.

    The fire at 84 Throop Ave. in New Brunswick broke out at around 7 p.m., according to fire officials. 

    No injuries have been reported in the blaze at the three-story, multiple-family building, but it was a close call for some families.

    "I heard somebody screaming, 'Fire, fire!'" said Alonso Rezio. "So I grabbed my family, and we just walked out. Whatever we have on, that's it."

    The fire department says at least 21 residents were rescued. 

    By the end of the night, Rezio's home of 18 years was destroyed in a battle of fire and ice. The spray from the hose lines froze in the arctic air, and the burnt-out building was encased in ice as firefighters worked in the dangerous cold. 

    Evacuees forced out into the brutal temperatures also had to contend with the weather.

    "The alarm went off, I just got my jacket, so my license, my everything is in there," said Jonathan Espinal. 

    The 21 people who escaped the fire, including families and children, were keeping warm aboard a heated bus. The Red Cross is assisting a total of 42 displaced people in finding a warm place for them to spend the night.

    Rezio said he'll be staying with relatives.

    "After tomorrow, it's a new start. We lost everything." 

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