Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Fire at Flatbush Apartment Building Forces Residents Out Into the Cold

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On a frigid night, a fire in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn left three firefighters and two civilians with minor injuries, and left some apartment dwellers without homes to return to. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Fire forced dozens of people from a Flatbush apartment building Tuesday afternoon.

"I was on the computer just doing some research, and next thing I know, I hear somebody downstairs yelling, "Fire, fire, fire!" said resident Lisa Davis.

Davis closed her door, called 911 and scaled down her fire escape.

"I am just in shock right now," she said. "I can't believe it."

The fire started on the second floor of the four-story Flatbush apartment building.

First responders rescued some residents from the fire escape.

It took firefighters about 45 minutes to get the blaze under control.

"It's frigid out there," said Chief Malcolm Moore of the New York City Fire Department. "You're out there for a couple moments, we're dealing with water and everything else. The elements take their effects immediately. You feel it."

The fire, smoke and water damaged more than a dozen of the 40-some units. The Red Cross said that five of them are uninhabitable.

"We're trying to find out what we're going to do, because nobody coming yet," said resident Jean Philogene.

The Red Cross is providing at least five families with hotel vouchers and financial assistance.

Hours after the fire was put out, resident Astley Smith arrived home.

Smith: Everything was messed up in my place. I didn't get any call or nothing.
Q: And your wife, what'd you hear?
Smith: I heard she passed out, smoke inhalation, and she's in hospital right now.
Q: Are you going there now?
Smith: I'm going there right now.

He said that he'll turn to the Red Cross as well for help.

Investigators are trying to figure out the cause of the blaze.

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