An intense fire at a large apartment building on Staten Island early Sunday injured 15 people, including some firefighters and police officers, officials said.
The fire at Tysen Park Apartments on Mill Road started overnight on the fourth floor and spread to the fifth, firefighters said at scene.
Some of the victims were seriously injured, but all were expected to survive, firefighters said. Those injured included two or three firefighters and four police officers.
A woman who lives in the apartment where the fire started said she had a candle lit in her bedroom and she believes one of her cats knocked it over. She said her three children escaped the flames, but two of their four cats didn't make it.
Firefighters didn't confirm the cause of the fire.
About 250 firefighters battled the blaze, which was extinguished by 9:30 a.m.
Six families were affected, according to the Red Cross, and four needed assistance.
Meanwhile, a separate fire on Staten Island killed a college professor in Connecticut and his hospitalized 9-year-old son with minor injuries, officials said.