Woman critical, 13 homeless after fire tears through home in Newark

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman was hospitalized in critical condition after a fire tore through a building in Newark and left more than a dozen residents homeless.

The fire started around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday at a 2 1/2-story residential building on Vermont Avenue.

People inside told Eyewitness News that they found the flames on the second floor and used a bowl of water in an attempt to extinguish them, but it was too much for them to handle.

Several children and adults were able to get out of the home, but firefighters had to rescue a woman who was trapped inside the residence. She was transported to an area hospital, where she remains critical. No other injuries have been reported.

"The flames were red in there," resident Derrick Wynn said. "You couldn't breathe. I'm shook up. The family lost everything over here."

Three families, consisting of eight adults and four children, have been taken to a hotel, where they are being assisted by the Red Cross.

The cause and origin of this fire will be investigated by the Newark Fire Division's Arson Unit.

Anyone with information about any suspicious activity or crime to call the Department's 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward.

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