Dozens homeless after massive New Jersey fire, cause under investigation

FORT LEE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Fire investigators still trying to figure out what sparked a massive apartment fire in New Jersey that left dozens of people homeless.

Residents were rescued from the multi-story Linwood Park complex on Edwin Avenue in Fort Lee as flames and smoke poured out of its windows just after 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Red Cross says they are currently helping 12 families at a shelter set up at Fort Lee High School, and anyone who still needs assistance should come over.

Those evacuated from a nearby apartment building have been able to return home.

Residents could be seen from NewsCopter 7 using fire escapes on the building to evacuate their apartments.
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Shannon Sohn has more on the apartment complex fire in Fort Lee, NJ.


"I was banging on people's doors begging them to come out and got as many of the elderly out as I could," said one resident, who helped her neighbors escape. "I didn't even come out with shoes."

Authorities say the fire started in the basement and quickly spread because of the structure of the building.

"It spread quickly because of the architectural components in the building," Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said. "They fought it as best they could."

Emergency crews were working to keep the fire from spreading to a building next door, and firefighters were going door to door to make sure everyone was safely evacuated.

At least three volunteer firefighters suffered minor injuries.

The Borough of Fort Lee has set up an official GoFundMe account has been set up for the victims. There has already been an additional page set up by an individual under the name "Linwood Plaza, Fort Lee, NJ Fire Victims," so potential donors are urged not to be confused. The official page is called "Victims of the Fort Lee Linwood Park Fire."

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