Fire tears through home in Paterson

April 28, 2009 7:24:42 AM PDT
Two women were critically injured when a second-alarm fire tore through a multi-family home in Paterson, prompting rescues of residents.The fire reportedly started in the basement of 31 Montclair Avenue just after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, and spewed smoke through the 2 1/2 story home.

Eyewitness News is told two women sleeping in a basement apartment were pulled by firefighters from the flames.

The victims -- a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 30s -- were rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in critical condition.

Five children were also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Officials say firefighters pulling up to the burning home encountered numerous residents climbing out windows to escape the acrid smoke.

They extended ladders and rescued at least nine of the residents from the roof of a porch.

About 20 people lived in the building, and 16 of them were relocated by the Red Cross. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not considered suspicious.

Authorities will investigate why a large number of residents were living in the home.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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