A five-alarm fire erupted in a multi-family apartment building on Staten Island early Thursday morning, injuring at least 34 people, including 23 firefighters and 11 civilians.
â€” Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 5, 2014
Almost all of the injured were taken to a hospital, but the injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to Associated Press. Their injuries ranged from minor to serious, including one adult with cardiac issues, according to NBC New York.
The fire started at 1 a.m. EDT Thursday and raged through three, 2-story townhouses. About 200 firefighters responded to the blaze, and as of 5 a.m., firefighters were still battling the fire.
“There was a tremendous amount of fire,” Fire Chief Pete Leicht told NBC New York.
A man trapped in the house fire threw two children, believed to be a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, from the second floor to neighbors down below who caught the children.
"The father was stuck up there, dangling his son outside...he couldn't do anything — black smoke was just billowing out that window," Anthony DiSimone, who lives on the street where the fire occurred, told the Staten Island Advance. "So I went underneath — he threw him right to me and I caught his son."
DiSimone’s fiancée, Darleen Cerzosie, caught the girl.
"I yelled out to him, 'just throw them out, just throw them out,’” DiSimone said, adding that the children “seemed OK, but shaken up.”
The trapped man was rescued by firefighters.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.