PROSPECT LEFFERTS GARDENS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- For hours, firefighters worked to control the stubborn flames in the roof of a building in Brooklyn. When it was placed under control, an entire floor of apartments had been deemed uninhabitable with residents forced to find another place to stay a week before Christmas.
The fire started just after 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the building on 80 Clarkson Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The fire destroyed two apartments and impacted as many as 14 others.
"I don't even have the words to explain how the smoke was, because it was just coming. It seemed like it was just coming from everywhere," said Shannda Maheia.
The call quickly grew to four alarms and was a struggle for nearly 170 firefighters.
"A cold night a week before Christmas - it's tough for everybody," said Chief John Esposito.
The flames were trapped between the roof and the building's top floor.
"It's just a very difficult, arduous, time consuming operation to open up the ceiling and get water in there to extinguish the fire, and the fire kinda goes back and forth between apartments. Takes an awful lot of people," Chief Esposito added.
It also took hours - as residents young and old waited for news on the state of their homes. Some residents at the building suspect faulty wiring.
"We're still using fuses. Some building use switchboxes, we're still using fuses in this building," Maheia added.
Four people, including one firefighter were treated for minor injuries.
Firefighters say there is nothing suspicious about the fire, but they are still working to determine the cause.
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