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Separate three-alarm blazes broke out in the Bronx in the wee hours of Wednesday morning
People were forced to flee in bathrobes and slippers despite temperatures in the teens
At one location, near the Bronx Zoo, water used to fight the fire froze as it hit the ground
Separate three-alarm fires in the Bronx sent bathrobe-clad residents fleeing their homes in sub-20-degree temperatures as the FDNY scrambled to battle flames despite water freezing as it hit the ground Wednesday morning.
The first 911 calls for a fire in the 700 block of Garden Street came in just before 4 a.m. Residents of the six-story building near the Bronx Zoo told News 4 New York they believe the fire started on the first floor.
They were forced to flee so quickly, some stood outside in bathrobes, pajamas and even house slippers, despite temperatures below 20 degrees.
One woman said her relatives were coming in multiple cars so that people had someplace warm to sit. New York City Emergency Management issued an alert advising people to keep their windows closed to avoid the smoke.
Meanwhile, a second fire was burning, also at a multistory apartment building on Knox Place in the Norwood section of the Bronx.
That fire was believed to have broken out on the top floor of the six-story building; Chopper 4 over the scene showed bright orange flames leaping from the roof. The blaze appeared to be contained by about 7 a.m. Two people refused medical attention at the scene.
A cause of both fires is under investigation. Both buildings appeared heavily damaged by the blazes.