NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- An intense fire tore through three buildings in Newark Thursday morning, injuring three firefighters.
The fire broke out around 9:15 a.m. at 187 Johnson Avenue, an unoccupied home. Authorities say the fire is suspicious.
The flames quickly spread to two other homes and caught residents inside off guard. Fortunately, a passerby saw the flames and knocked on doors and screamed for them to get out.
The blaze was brought under control around 10:30 a.m. Firefighters had a difficult time extinguishing the fire due to low water pressure in the area.
Johnson Avenue only has one water main serving a long stretch that impacts the pressure coming out of hydrants, and some wonder if fire could have been controlled sooner with stronger water pressure.
Officials say the hydrants are also spaced farther apart because of the street's proximity to the highway.
The three firefighters who were hurt suffered minor injuries.
Two were transported to University Hospital, one for treatment of an injury to the hand and the other for treatment of an injury to his foot. The third firefighter was treated at the scene for a minor laceration and returned to duty.
No other people were hurt, although their homes suffered extensive damage. Three families were left homeless.
"I just bought the house five months ago," one woman said. "Right now, I tell you, I don't know what to do. My heart is (broken). Maybe it's just material, some money, but it's everything. all my savings, my kids' house."
The Red Cross is on the scene assisting the displaced residents.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Fire tears through 3 buildings in New Jersey, 3 firefighters hurt