Six-Alarm Fire Rips Through Bronx Apartment

Fire burned for three hours leaving dozens homeless


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(Mount Eden-WABC, February 1, 2006) - Dozens of people in the Bronx are homeless after a raging six alarm fire ripped through their apartment building this morning.

The fire broke out in a six story building on Gerard Avenue near 169th Street -- just before 7:30 this morning. Eyewitness News reporter Ken Rosato is live in Mount Eden with the latest.

Rafael Martinez, Resident: "She called me and she said dad your apartment is on fire."

The fire ripped through the six story apartment building at 1270 Gerard Avenue, near East 169th Street in the Mt. Eden section of the Bronx.

The fire quickly spread to six alarms forcing out residents from all 80 apartments.

Salvator Cassano, FDNY: "It's amazing with the amount of people we evacuated from 80 apartments and only to have one severe injury at that time of morning is a testimony to the work the that the firefighters did at this job."

At 6:30 this morning residents from apartment 3B see flames coming from underneath the electric stove. The quickly spreads up the building's pipe recess to the fourth, fifth and sixth floors. Neighbors pounded on each other's doors to get everybody out.

Anthony Miranda, Resident: "I'm getting ready to go to work and that's when they start banging on my door. I open the door and the whole side, looks like the whole right side of the door was engulfed."

By seven o'clock the entire sixth floor was on fire.

Firefighters tried to get ahead of the blaze but strong winds kept it alive.

In all more than 250 firefighters from eight departments spent over three hours to get the fire under control.

Only one resident was injured and 21 firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Sadly now, the residents of 1270 Gerard finds themselves without a place to live.

Rafael Martinez, Resident: "It's all gone..all my belongings..I'm homeless right now. I have no place to go."

At least ten of the injured were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Red Cross also helped locate shelters for at least 50 families.