Fire Rips Through Harlem Building; 6 Injured, 1 Seriously

An early-morning fire in a Harlem shop and apartment building injured six people, one seriously, as firefighters rescued residents through windows by ladder.

Firefighters were called around 6:30 a.m. Monday to the 145th Street building. Flames poured from a ground-floor hardware store and stretched higher in the six-story building.

Tenants said hallways quickly filled with smoke. 

Business owner Vib Colquhoun was emotional as he surveyed the damage to his longtime business.

"The deeper I look into the store, it's even more disturbing," he told NBC 4 New York. 

"This is 25 years worth of getting here and leaving late, 16 hours a day," Colquhoun said, pausing as he teared up, looking at his store from outside in the rain. 

"Life is still here and I expect to go on. I'm not sure how I will pick up the pieces from here," he said, adding that he has another store a few blocks away and that he plans to continue to pursue business. 

"I still have hope and hopefully I can survive on that." 

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze. The Fire Department says four firefighters and two civilians have been taken to hospitals, and one civilian has serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The injures are described as minor.

The American Red Cross is helping over 50 people affected by the fire.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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