Fire burns through 3 apartment buildings in Newark

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Quick-moving flames took over multiple buildings in Newark Monday afternoon.

The damage likely could have been worse if not for the work of a Good Samaritan who ran over to warn people.

40 people have been displaced by this fire. It tore through three buildings and fortunately no one was injured.

"Fire was everywhere, was fuming everywhere. People were getting out. Some were a bit trapped," said Noel Soto, fire victim.

That fire was moving quickly through the apartment buildings in North Newark.

Jessica Hernandez saw the flames as she passed by the building with her children and began to alert residents.

"A gentleman came out the window on the third floor and I yelled, 'Get out of your house immediately. There's no way, get out the house now. It's very bad.' And then I saw people coming out the second house," Hernandez said.

"We heard lots of screaming outside, people yelling 'fire!' So we quickly got out of the house. Make sure everyone was fine got the kids," Soto said.

The fire spread to a second building and then to a third apartment building as Newark firefighters began to attack the fire inside.

"They had a heavy volume of fire extending to a second building so it was a matter of deploying firefighters into both buildings and keep it from extending. So it was a labor intensive initial attack," said Chief John Centanni, Newark Fire Department.

Carmen Reyes says the fire was in the apartment next to hers.

"It come out of the apartment next door. We took the kids out and they went downstairs," said Reyes through a translator.

A number of residents were living in the building at the time and everyone escaped safely.

"There were approximately 40 people who are being relocated or with family or in a shelter," Centanni said.

"Very lucky. Because again, if I had not noticed the severity it again I wouldn't even know what to think, what my conscience, knowing that I saw this and didn't react," Hernandez said.
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