Fire breaks out in West Village apartment

December 13, 2009 3:37:20 PM PST
Residents were evacuated Sunday morning as fire burned through an airshaft in a West Village apartment building."I just started going around knocking on doors, making sure everyone was safe," Good Samaritan Yvette Golla said. "Because there were no fire alarms going off."

Golla was preparing to return to Chicago when she became a hero, alerting residents about the fire. The blaze apparently began in an air shaft and quickly send heavy smoke through the fifth floor of 234 West 13th Street.

The woman living in the apartment where the flames erupted ran out with her small dog, and everyone else followed.

"Everybody's fine," resident Rosemary Rowley said. "Damage is significant, but that should be the worst thing that happens to us."

The blaze was quickly knocked down by the 110 firefighters who arrived on the scene. They conducted a detailed search to see if the fire was simmering in the walls of the five-story apartment building, but found the situation clear.

"We had reports of extension on two floors, fourth and fifth," deputy fire chief Phil Mannix said. "So better safe than sorry, so we got a second alarm rolling. That's always the right move."

John Vaudo lives in the apartment directly underneath where the fire began, and he is dealing with some significant damage.

"Damage is in the kitchen, water damage, ceiling," he said. "There's a lot of water damage underneath the floor and the furniture and everything."

A pregnant woman living in an adjacent building was taken to the hospital over concerns of smoke inhalation.