The smoke could be seen all the way into New York City as the flames took down at least two apartment buildings in Union City, and destroyed multiple cars.
Amazingly, no lives were lost, but six firefighters were treated for minor injuries.
"Both Union City Police and EMS, which is only a two blocks away, and the fire department, which is only a couple blocks away, went actively in the buildings to rescue before they even brought the hose into the building. My hat goes off to North Hudson regional fire, Union City police, Union City EMS, and the residents in the area who were actually assisting and doing rescues," said Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
The four-alarm fire broke out around 11 Sunday morning on Palisades Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets.
The fire took some 2 and a half hours to contain.
The fire was believed to have been triggered by a vehicle fire that spread to the nearby three-story homes.
"The delay in reporting the fire, companies initially went to work and we had some gas tanks explode, wires came down, central lines came down on Palisades Avenue. That delayed operations in sense of getting water on the initial body of fire," explained Deputy Chief Nick Gazzillo.
Some 50 people are now left without a place to stay.
Displaced residents have been taken to a nearby school on 16th Street, The Red Cross says it will help provide temporary shelter.
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