EAST HARLEM — A woman was hospitalized after her apartment caught fire Friday.
The fire started about 9:30 a.m. inside a 17th floor apartment in the Clinton Houses, at 1760 Lexington Ave. near East 109th Street, according to the FDNY.
“I was on the phone looking out the window when I saw the firefighters coming,” said Margarita Zuniga, 67. “I panicked so I came down.”
Nearly 78 firefighters and 20 vehicles showed up to the scene and put out the blaze shortly after 10 a.m., according to the FDNY.
“I opened the window and smelled smoke,” said Niurka Nunez, who lives on the 10th floor.
Nunez tried to exit down the stairs but there was a small rush of water from the hoses coming down. When she saw a policeman in the elevator, she traveled down with him.
“When I saw them in there I knew I’d be safe,” she said.
The victim from the 17th floor suffered minor injuries and was taken to a Mt. Sinai Hospital, the FDNY said. Another woman was treated at the scene but was not hospitalized.
The building had several complaints to the Department of Buildings earlier this year for broken elevators and handles being broken off emergency exit doors, records show.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.