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Fire Rips Through Morningside Heights Apartment Building

By DNAinfo Staff on November 29, 2012 12:04pm

By Marlisse Silver Sweeney and Aidan Gardiner

DNAinfo Staff

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — Tenants of five apartments were displaced after a fire roared through their building early Thursday morning, FDNY officials said.

The blaze erupted at about 5:30 a.m. on the fifth floor of 200 W. 109th St., at Amsterdam Avenue, and spread to the sixth floor, according to fire officials.

Five apartments were severely damaged by the fire and many more below sustained heavy water damage, officials on the scene said.

Cristy Fernandez, who lives on the fifth floor and studies creative writing at nearby Columbia University, said the inferno started in her bathroom. A device used to push steam out the window ignited, the tenant and officials said.

When Fernandez fled her apartment, the blaze was still small and contained to her bathroom, she explained.

“I didn’t even think anything would happen,” she said, adding all she left her home with were the clothes she was wearing.

A man who works at the Columbus Amsterdam Business Improvement District across the street from the apartment said he saw smoke billowing from the building's fourth floor.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries in the blaze, but residents from the building's 40 units escaped unharmed, officials said.