Fire Rips Through 10 Buildings in New York

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) -- Flames spread through 11 low-rise apartment buildings early Friday, killing two people and forcing more than 100 others to flee as the fire gutted much of a city block. Three people were hospitalized in critical condition.

The blaze began at about 1 a.m. in an old wood-frame building and quickly spread, Yonkers Fire Commissioner Tony Pagano said.

Authorities said about 150 people lived in the burned buildings in the lower- to middle-class neighborhood just north of New York City. All were believed to have been accounted for by midmorning.

Firefighters found one man and a woman dead in the back of one of the buildings that was destroyed, Deputy Fire Chief George Kielb said.

Three others, a man and women in their earlier 20s and a 16-year-old boy, were in ``extremely critical condition'' with burns over 80 percent of their bodies, said Michael Heller, a spokesman for Jacobi Medical Center.

Several firefighters were also injured, including one whose hand was burned as he put out flames on one of the survivors, authorities said.

Lucy Roman and her daughter Jasmine, 14, said they woke up to shouting in the middle of the night.

``I told my mother it looks like it's getting near us,'' Jasmine said. ``So, I got my cat, Diva, and we came outside and we stood on the street. And all of a sudden the wind just pushed the flames into our building.''

It likely will take days for investigators to determine what started the blaze, Pagano said. He asked the public for any information about what might have cause it.

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