BUSHWICK — Eleven people were injured, one of them seriously, when a large fire erupted in a DeKalb Avenue row house and spread to four others Tuesday night, FDNY officials said.
Fire in bushwick pic.twitter.com/niuAaWbhiq— Diego Lopez (@lowpezdiego) March 30, 2016
As many as 21 families — including 30 adults and 12 children — were displaced by the massive fire, after flames broke out in 1427 DeKalb Ave., near Wilson Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. before spreading from 1415 to 1429 DeKalb Ave., according to the FDNY and the Red Cross.
"It started in, we believe, 1427 and got up in the cockloft and roof area and spread into four other buildings," said FDNY Battalion Chief Mike Galini.
Neighbors said they were going about their regular evening routines when the flames erupted.
"I was sitting with my roommate and we smelled something. The walls were cool, but as soon as we opened the back window, smoke was blowing in," said high school math teacher Luke Moffitt, 32, who lives in one of the damaged buildings.
"It was getting worse and worse. Within 15 minutes, it was burning up the block. It was the brightest light on the block for a while. It was an inferno, a wall of fire billowing up," Moffitt added.
As the flames grew, people raced to alert their neighbors and get them to safety.
"I saw the flames through the window and I ran through [my building] yelling, 'Get out! Get out!'" said Gustavo Satos, who lives on the block.
Five homes were ultimately destroyed or severely damaged before firefighters brought the blaze under control about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday morning, officials said.
BKLYN 6-ALARM 1427 DEKALB AVE, MULTIPLE DWELLING FIRE IN 4 BUILDINGS, UNDER CONTROL— FDNYalerts (@FDNYAlerts) March 30, 2016
One person was seriously injured and treated at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and was listed in stable condition, officials said.
Two other civilians and a firefighter were treated for minor injuries at the same hospital, an FDNY spokesman said.
Seven other people were injured, but refused medical attention at the scene, officials said.
Red Cross crews put up 12 families in local hotels and passed out blankets, food, water and other relief items to all affected, a spokesman said. The Red Cross is trying to put up as many as nine other families.
"All displaced residents are invited to meet with Red Cross caseworkers in the coming days to address additional needs that they may have," the spokesman said.
Fire marshals will determine the cause of the blaze, officials said.
Neighbors said the blaze also killed pigeons that lived in a coop on one of the scorched buildings.
Fire officials said the blaze spread quickly because the buildings were made of wood and packed so closely together.
"The old wood frame buildings, when it gets up in that area, with any type of wind, it's a challenge to keep it from moving along the block," Galini said.
"You got to stay ahead of it and hose lines into the building as fast as possible," he added.
Firefighters struggled for three hours to bring the Bushwick row house blaze under control, officials said. (DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs)