New Jersey

Fire Guts Entire NJ Apartment Building, Displacing Dozens of Families

Fort Lee's mayor said every displaced resident of the fire would receive housing and food assistance

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Firefighters were still putting water on a blistering fire at a New Jersey apartment building late into Saturday night and more than eight hours after the first flames were reported to emergency officials.

The devastating aftermath of the fire has gutted the Fort Lee apartment building and left the residents of 38 apartment units without homes.

Firefighters were still throwing water onto the fire as midnight approached, more than eight hours after the first crews were called to the building. Amateur video captured at 3:41 p.m. shows some smoke coming out of a second-floor apartment. By 4:26 p.m., flames were shooting out of the windows.

"Smoke started coming out white, then all of a sudden turned dark," Isaiah Jefferson, who witnessed the start of the fire, said.

Teams of firefighters worked quickly but faced difficult obstacles, including the collapse of the building's roof.

"I was in my apartment and the fire alarm went on, so I opened the door and one of the apartments across from mine it was a lot of smoke coming out from the door," said building resident Julian Munoz.

Munoz called 911 and knocked on his neighbors door, but it took police and firefighters to get everyone out safely.

Sherryann Magzon also lives in the building. She rushed home to try and save her beloved parakeet but the fire had already grown out of control.

"I got a phone call from my neighbor, she lives in this apartment building here, and she told me 'oh my god Sherry your place is on fire,'" Magzon said.

Officials said there appeared to be no injuries or fatalities, but the building was a complete loss. The mayor of Fort Lee said each of the building's residents would get housing and food assistance from the city.

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