At least 12 firefighters hurt in huge fire in Inwood

March 23, 2012 1:37:30 PM PDT
A third-alarm fire tore through a home in Upper Manhattan and shot flames from a manhole in the street early Friday.

At least 12 firefighters were hurt in the blaze, which broke out at the home on West 217th Street in Inwood just after 3 a.m. None of the injuries are considered life threatening, though the most seriously injured reported fell from a ladder.

Residents in the area reported hearing a boom or explosion before smelling the smoke and seeing the flames.

The home was fully engulfed in flames.

The cause is under investigation, but authorities say it may have been fueled by a natural gas line.

The flames also shot from the manhole in front of the house, which knocked out power to about 100 customers in the area.

Residents in the home that caught on fire described escaping from the flames.

"I thought the house was falling on top of us, because I didn't know what was going on," Hector Rivera said. "We were terrified, and we just got out. Thank God that we're alive."

All of the residents made it out of the home safely.

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