Five people suffered minor injuries and 34 people were displaced.
The fire started on the second floor of the apartment building on East 2nd Street just after 11:30 p.m.
Flames quickly spread, shooting out the front windows and sending residents running to the street.
About 140 firefighters battled the blaze on the first and second floors. The Red Cross says it's assisting 30 adults and four children and finding shelter for those unable to make other arrangements.
Two firefighters were taken to New York Downtown Hospital with minor injuries. Three civilians were also treated.
It took two hours to put out the fire. No serious injuries were reported.
The adjacent NYU dormitory, the Second Street Hall, was also briefly evacuated as firefighters battled the flames.
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