Stubborn fire spews flames, sparks dog-rescue

Two firefighters hospitalized for smoke inhalation
January 6, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
A stubborn third-alarm fire burned through a Hoboken apartment building and a beloved bar Monday morning, sending residents rushing from their homes and prompting the rescue of a dog. Authorities say the fire broke out in the four-story building at 110 First Street, with McSwiggan's Bar on the ground floor and apartments above, just after 1 a.m.

The fire either started in the bar or in the building's basement.

Smoke, then flames, reportedly spewed out of the large structure. Patrons rushed out of the bar and residents evacuated the apartments above.

Officials say one dog caught in the smoke, described as "a little lethargic," was rescued by firefighters. The pooch's owners credited firefighters with saving the dog's life.

Although some residents insisted one person did not make it out of an apartment, firefighters searched three times and said they felt confident no one was missing. No residents appeared to be hurt.

A fire captain and a firefighter were briefly hospitalized, one for smoke inhalation and one for dizziness. There were no other injuries.

It took more than five hours to extinguish the stubborn flames. The cause was not immediately clear. Fire officials say the blaze was difficult to fight because of the building's tin ceilings.

Nine families, comprised of 14 people, were left temporarily homeless.