Fire Races Through 4 Brooklyn Houses

Fire ripped through a row of four houses in Brooklyn Saturday, leaving residents homeless just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Nine families have been provided with housing for the weekend, American Red Cross responders said. Food, clothing, medications and emotional support were also being provided to the 21 adults and 10 children left homeless.

Five firefighters sustained minor injuries battling the blaze, said FDNY Chief James Leonard, who was at the scene. No residents were injured.

"We did not need to rescue anybody," he told NBC 4 New York. "It was a good time of day. A lot of people were awake, so people were able to get out."

The 2:30 p.m. fire apparently started in a house at 85 Hemlock St. and quickly spread to adjoining houses. Four structures were "heavily damaged," the chief said, adding that the roof of one house collapsed into the second floor.

About 200 firefighters fought the four-alarm fire and brought it under control in about two hours, Leonard said.

The fire, in the Cypress Hill neighborhood, spread quickly because the structures were largely constructed with wood. 

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