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2 People Hurt in Washington Heights Apartment Fire, FDNY Says

By  Trevor Kapp and Aidan Gardiner | October 15, 2015 1:48pm 

 The fire erupted on the third floor of a six-story building, officials said.
The fire erupted on the third floor of a six-story building, officials said.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Two people were injured when a fire erupted in an apartment building and filled it with thick black smoke Thursday morning, officials and witnesses said.

The flames broke out on the third floor of 615 W. 173rd St., near Wadsworth Avenue, about 10:10 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

"When I got out of the apartment, it was all smoke. It was pitch black. I had trouble breathing. It felt like I was in a microwave," said a 24-year-old tenant named Emmanuel who refused to give his last name.

"I couldn't see at all going down the stairs. We were losing out breath at each step. We were screaming for help and finally firefighters helped us down," Emmanuel said.

About 60 firefighters responded to the scene, an FDNY spokesman said.

"Firefighters came rushing in. They were breaking everybody's doors and windows. The flames were black and really high. They went from the third floor to the fifth floor," said Jady Espinal, 24, who was going to visit her grandmother in the building.

"It was scary," Espinal said.

Two people suffered smoke inhalation and were treated at Harlem Hospital, the FDNY said. Their injuries weren't considered life-threatening.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control about 11 a.m., the FDNY spokesman said.

Fire marshals will determine what sparked the blaze.