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Hamilton Heights fire engulfs roof of apartment building
19 November 2017, 12:53 | Tara Lloyd
150 fire-fighters battle blaze at Manhattan tower block
A huge blaze is ripping through an apartment building in Manhattan, New York City, sending large plumes of smoke into the sky.
The Department of Buildings will determine the extent of damage done and decide whether the building needs to come down. "A big fire coming from my building and onto Broadway and people were hysterical and that's where it all started", said John Farias, a resident. Another nearby building was also evacuated.
At the height of the fire, about 255 firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics were on-scene.
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Three firefighters and one civilian suffered minor smoke-inhalation injuries, officials said.
Fierce winds spread the fire quickly, fireballs of debris raining down on the street and a thick wall of black smoke shooting into the skyline shortly after it broke out on the top floor around 3:15 p.m. People in the area say sections of the building's facade are falling to the street.
So far, no injuries have been reported, an FDNY spokesman said.
22 families have been given shelter in the meantime. "It was a wind driven fire that rapidly pushed the fire into the top floor, into the cockloft area which is the space between the top floor ceiling and the underside of the roof", FDNY Chief of Department, James Leonard said.
It is not yet known how many people have been displaced by the fire, and the initial cause of the inferno has not been reported.
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