Two critically hurt after fire in NYC high-rise apartment

by Reuters
Sunday, 5 January 2014 19:25 GMT

(Adds quote from resident of building)

NEW YORK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition after a fire ignited the 20th floor of a high-rise apartment building in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday morning, the New York Fire Department said.

The three-alarm fire broke out around 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) at the building, which is three blocks west of Times Square. About 200 firefighters responded as the fire spread to several apartments on the floor, the fire department said.

"The main body of fire's been knocked down but there's still smoke conditions inside the building," said Danny Glover, a fire department spokesman.

Two men were taken to nearby hospitals in critical condition, Glover said. He was unable to provide further details. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Police shut down several blocks around the building and fire trucks and ambulances could be seen parked outside.

Christopher Roehrs, a 50-year-old resident of the building was awakened at 10:30 a.m. by the sound of sirens, which lofted up to his 11th floor apartment.

"I looked out the window and saw in the reflection there were flames coming out of my building," said Roehrs, who evacuated and saw a stream of residents coming out of the building for an hour after he left. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen and Phil Wahba; Editing by Scott Malone, Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy)

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