The fire broke out just after noon on 549 W. 163rd Street. Fire officials say the fire took about an hour to get under control. One resident is in serious but stable condition after being burned. Two firefighters were also injured.
Dramatic video: elderly and mothers holding children climb down fire escapes on 163rd St in Washington Heights. 1 resident badly burned. 2 firefighters injured. All expected to survive. FDNY says started by candle, resident fled, left door open, wind spread flames. pic.twitter.com/nuBP8y0C2y— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) April 15, 2018
"He was in shock. He was burned - his face, he was messed up. Half of his legs were messed up. He was very burned," said resident Alvonse Baes.
Some residents evacuated without any shoes on their feet in the chilly weather. Elderly mothers were seen holding children as they made their way down from the building on ladders.
Fire marshals say the fire was accidental and was started by a candle. They say the resident fled, leaving the apartment door open, causing the wind to spread flames throughout the building.
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