10 firefighters injured, residents displaced after flames tear through apartment in West New York

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, November 24, 2023
8 firefighters hurt after flames tear through apartment in West NY
Anthony Carlo has the latest details on the West New York fire.

WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Ten firefighters were injured and more than a dozen residents were displaced after a fire tore through an apartment in West New York, New Jersey Thursday night.

Citizen App video showed fierce flames billowing from the building located on Bergenline Avenue at 53rd Street. The fire was in an apartment above a pharmacy.

It wasn't the kind of Thanksgiving West New York residents hoped for. Their apartments were blackened and charred after being ravaged by the flames.

"We were about to cut the turkey literally and then this happened," neighbor Peter Reynoso said. "It's pretty sad our Thanksgiving got ruined. Our pets, we can't find one of them. It's a horrible night."

Neighbors had to get out with their cats, immediately, when the building two doors down on Bergenline Avenue collapsed.

"They were sitting by the window, and they got like knocked down and everything shook inside the apartment, it was really loud," Reynoso said.

North Hudson fire officials say an explosion caused the roof to come crumbling down with firefighters on top of it.

Ten firefighters were injured, including two seriously. One still remains hospitalized Friday with non-life-threatening injuries.

"I got a call that we had three members missing we had a mayday and your heart just drops," West New York Fire Chief David Donnarumma said.

Donnarumma says the explosion happened as firefighters were battling flames shooting out the window of the three-story corner building. The blast turned the building next to it into rubble.

"It's a sad day for the township of West New York they with their residents, cause people are displaced, they lost their residences and lost their belongings," he said. "It's a difficult day for the firefighters, not because we had to work but because of the injuries. Now their families will be suffering as well."

Luckily, firefighters were able to get everyone out, rescuing several residents. Others were able to self evacuate.

The fire has been placed under control, but the damage has already been done.

Twenty people have been displaced. The Red Cross says they are assisting at least 10 families.

"On a holiday they're crying," witness Christian Moranchel said. "Their families trying to console them, hugging them. Just feel bad for them."

The cause of the fire and explosion are under investigation but foul play is not suspected.


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