Incredibly, there were only a handful of minor injuries as firefighters managed to rescue dozens of people from the building on Clinton Street Hempstead, where the flames broke out around 2:30 a.m.
Firefighters escorted residents down ladders to safety as smoke filled the structure.
The fire was contained to just one apartment, but the smoke was so thick that residents could barely breathe.
Most of them were able to escape on their own, and three people had to be hospitalized.
Six units have been deemed unsafe as of now due to severe smoke and water damage.
The fire was brought under control later Friday morning.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but authorities believe candles left lit overnight may be responsible.
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