WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A second alarm fire in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, apartment building critically injured one woman and left several other people injured.
The fire broke out in a first floor apartment on Penn Street at around 6:45 a.m. Monday.
"I called 911 and I was trying to stop the cars to help me out, but nobody stopped," Jonnatan Lopoz told Eyewitness News.
Lopoz said he had just parked his car when he smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the structure.
He called for help and said he could hear people screaming in the building. Unsure of what to do, he tried to go inside.
"I kicked the door," Lopoz said. "I saw the flames, and I knew it was something dangerous."
Firefighters arrived a short time later and were able to rescue 17 people from the burning building. Several were hurt.
"This was a very arduous process, where firefighters had to risk their lives while an active fire was burning and rescue 17 people," said Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco.
The most seriously injured resident was a 71-year-old woman, who was rushed to Brooklyn Hospital Center in critical condition.
Three other people were taken to NYU Medical Center. The others who were rescued were being evaluated.
"We were lucky in that we were about a half a block away from one of Hatzolah's headquarters, so we had plenty of help at the outset," said Assistant EMS Chief Fred Villani. "FDNY EMTs and paramedics as well as Hatzolah volunteers triaged the rest of the patients."
The FDNY said at a news conference that the more than 100 firefighters who responded to the scene saved many lives.
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