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Fire Breaks Out in East 87th Street Building

By Ben Fractenberg | April 18, 2011 10:46am | Updated on April 18, 2011 10:53am

By Ben Fractenberg and Michael Ventura

DNAinfo Staff

UPPER EAST SIDE - A fire broke out in an Upper East Side apartment Building Monday morning.

The blaze started on the top floor of a four-story building at 356 East 87th Street between First and Second avenues, the FDNY said.

The windows in the top floor apartment were all smashed out as firefighters battled the blaze.

Ursula Burgger, who lives in the apartment below the fire, was working at her computer with her headphones on when she heard the faint sound of a smoke alarm, she said. Then she stepped into her hallway and smelled smoke, but wasn't sure if it was coming from the Gotham Pizza shop on the ground floor or somewhere else in the building.

A fire broke out in an Upper East Side  building Monday morning.
A fire broke out in an Upper East Side building Monday morning.
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DNAinfo/Jon Schuppe

Then someone buzzed her apartment from the building's front door and was "hystically screaming" that smoke was pouring out of the top floor apartment.

That was a woman who identified herself only as Bella, who works in the hair salon next door.

"There is a fire on the top floor. Get out! Get out! Get out!" Bella said she yelled into the intercom after reaching Burgger.

Then Burgger called the fire department.

Firefighters apparently broke through her ceiling while battling the blaze.

"There's a lot of water damage. My apartment is pretty trashed," Burgger said. "There's a big skylight now in my kitchen. It's the worst thing ever."

Her two cats, though, were OK, she said.

The owner of Gotham Pizza, who did not give his name, said he would have to close his restaurant to repair water damage.

The fire was reported at 10:11 a.m. It was under control roughly 40 minutes later.

By late morning, Con Ed and water officials were on the scene to shut off water and electricity to the building until it was safe.

The Red Cross was also on hand to help residents displaced by the fire find shelter.

No injuries were immediately reported, according to the FDNY.