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West Village Fire Sends Nine to Hospital

By Jess Wisloski | August 25, 2012 5:19pm

WEST VILLAGE — A fire that broke out in a West Village apartment building early Saturday morning sent nine to the hospital, the FDNY said.

The blaze erupted in a six-story residential building on Commerce Street near Seventh Avenue South at 4:54 a.m., fire officials said, and was under control by 5:34 a.m.

Neighbors said the screams of a woman, whose first name several residents said was Nora, may have saved everyone. 

"I heard a neighbor start screaming 'Fire, Fire, Fire,'" said Doug, 34, who did not want his last name used. "I started to hear popping sounds and glass smashing and Nora kept on screaming, 'Fire, fire, fire,' and yelling for people to get out of the building."

"If she hadn't had done what she did, I think there might have been more injuries," he said. Instead, everyone made it out using fire escapes, he said. 

Two residents suffered minor burns, and seven residents were treated for smoke inhalation, and all of them were treated at New York Hospital, the FDNY said.

"There was a lot of smoke and windows were popping all over the place," said Larry Myers, a Broadway playwright, who lives in the building.

"People were really upset, but we all helped each other get out of the building. Everything was handled responsibly and the FDNY did a great job."

The FDNY said no cause had yet been determined.