Officials say a four-alarm fire tore through five floors of a Hoboken building, displacing residents and causing three people to suffer smoke inhalation.
Firefighters from Hoboken, Newark and Elizabeth battled the blaze, which started at around 7 p.m. Sunday. They were still extinguishing flames from a section of the roof that was burning early Monday.
INFORMATION ON FUNDRAISER
Juan Melli, communications manager for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, told the Jersey Journal there were no major injuries but that one person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and two others were treated for it. Residents on the upper floors of the building were evacuated by ladder from the roof of the building.
Anthony DiCio, a Hoboken resident and local business owner, told The Associated Press he saw smoke coming out of the first floor entrance of the New Farm Market grocery store on Washington Street.
"A few minutes later, people were standing on the roof of the building next to it yelling for help to be evacuated," DiCio said.
The building that was consumed in flames over the next three hours contained four floors of condos above the store. It is a mostly wood frame building with bay windows.
At times, flames were leaping out windows and eventually shooting about 20 feet above the roof as firefighters trained water hoses on the structure. Thick black smoke swirled around the building, spreading the scent of fire throughout much of the mile-square city directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
Singer Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning lives a short distance from where the fire occurred.
Some among the hundreds of local residents who came outside to watch the fire were commenting on what a shame it was that the building caught on fire because it was an old nostalgic-looking building, a Hoboken classic, DiCio said.
DiCio said he met a woman who came down with her dog to observe the fire because she knew her friend lived there. She said she learned her friend was out of town. Her friend recently purchased the fourth floor condo. She said her friend was distraught because her boyfriend was staying in her apartment and was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.