A fast-moving seven-alarm fire in the Van Nest section of the Bronx on Tuesday morning injured more than a dozen people, the city fire department said.
"I woke up my husband and the kids and said, 'Put on clothes, let's go, let's go," said a resident. "'There's a fire somewhere in this building.' Now I'm starting to smell smoke coming up from my bathroom."
It took firefighters about eight hours to put out all the flames at the building on Commonwealth and East Tremont Avenues. The bitter cold was an extra challenge for crews.
The fire started around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday in a furniture store and quickly spread to the apartments above.
22 people suffered minor injuries, including several children, but officials said only one person was seriously hurt in the fire. One firefighter was also injured due to the blaze.
But the fire forced the building's residents out in the frigid elements.
"I just grabbed my babies and wrapped them in a blanket and brought them to the stairs because there was smoke everywhere," said resident of the building. "No shirt. Someone just lent me this sweatshirt and the shoes."
The city buildings department said inspectors are evaluating if the four-story building is stable.
"We are concerned about a possible collapse," FDNY Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich said. "We do assume some of the second floor collapsed into the first floor. So, there is quite a bit of damage."
People who rushed out of the building were kept warm on MTA buses.
The Red Cross said it is helping more than three dozen people who the fire has displaced.
The blaze occurred just five days after a dozen people were killed by a fast-moving fire on Prospect Ave. in the Bronx, the city's deadliest fire in more than 25 years.