Overnight Fire Leaves Veterans Without a Home on Christmas Day

An early morning fire has left a number of Queens locals, including veterans, out of their homes on Christmas day.

Firefighters rushed to the house on 114th Street near 95th Avenue in Queens after a fire broke out about 12:30 a.m. Christmas morning.

The fire ripped through the building, which houses five tenants in three apartments, sending two people to the hospital with injuries, landlord Raymond Muntaz said.

The other residents in the apartment said they ran for their lives, banging on doors to make sure their neighbors were safe before they left.

"All we did was smell smoke and I came out and knocked on everyone's doors and said, 'Get out!' Now look at us. We're homeless. On Christmas," one resident said.

Witnesses said the fire was raging on the top floor, and in the early morning the windows on the building's top floor were boarded up. 

Muntaz said two of the apartments were rented to army veterans. He said his heart was racing when he found out about the fire, because the people who rent the house are like family to him. 

"My heart was really pumping. I had medication to lower my blood pressure.”

The Red Cross was helping the residents of the apartment house. Muntaz said he hopes repairs could be done quickly and his tenants could move back in within a matter of days.

Fire investigators were looking into what caused the fire.

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