10 Homeless After Fire Destroys House in Paterson: Officials

A four-alarm fire has destroyed a house in Paterson, New Jersey and engulfed three others, marking the third fire in the community in the last year.

Ten people are homeless after the fire started inside an abandoned home on East Main Street, then quickly engulfed the other houses, according to officials.

"It was a little fire at first," said neighbor AJ Colon. "I alerted the cops. I didn't expect it to be big like that."

No one was hurt in the blaze, which was brought under control. 

Paterson Fire Chief Michael Postorino said investigators are looking into whether squatters may have been in the empty home. 

From a street behind, Naif Hernandez watched as firefighters used his roof to battle the large fire.

"I'm happy that my house can lend a hand," said Hernandez, who remained concerned about the structural integrity of two neighboring homes.

"It's like striking a matchbook. You strike one, they all light up," he said. 

The sight of boarded up homes and charred frames are eerily familiar on the street; steps away are two homes that burned down last year. Asked at the scene whether those fires were arson, the fire chief couldn't remember, but residents said whatever the cause, the fires have to stop. 

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