Paterson fire levels block, leaves more than 30 homeless

Matt Kozar has the story
March 27, 2014 9:41:32 AM PDT
A row of buildings was destroyed and dozens of people displaced after a massive fire in Paterson, New Jersey, Wednesday.

The flames broke out around 4:30 p.m. in a residential and commercial building at River Street and Sixth Street and quickly spread down the entire block. Five structures were gutted, and at least nine cars were destroyed.

CLICK HERE to see images from the scene.

Firefighter continued to battle hotspots more than 12 hours after the fire began, and all the buildings were set to be demolished after the flames were completely extinguished.

Gusting wind whipped the inferno into a fireball that swallowed the buildings, with embers shooting into the night sky and spreading the flames.

Miraculously, no injuries were reported.

Joselito Rodriguez saved two children who were home alone on the second floor of a three-story building when it caught fire.

"He went upstairs to go get his paperwork when he seen the fire, and downstairs, there were kids," an interpreter said. "So kicked the door open, and he told the kids to come outside, because if not, they would have just stayed in there."

This is the second major fire on River Street this year, after the Tropicana Bar went up in flames last month, prompting more than 65 firefighters to battle the blaze for six hours. Nine people were displaced.

The Red Cross was assisting the more than 30 people left homeless by this fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.