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Man Suffers Life-Threatening Injuries in LES Fire, FDNY Says

By  Trevor Kapp and Aidan Gardiner | January 16, 2017 8:47am 

 The fire broke out on the sixth floor of 72 Columbia St. Sunday night, officials said.
The fire broke out on the sixth floor of 72 Columbia St. Sunday night, officials said.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

LOWER EAST SIDE — A man suffered life-threatening injuries in a fire that broke out in the Baruch Houses Sunday night, an FDNY spokesman said.

Flames erupted on the sixth floor of 72 Columbia St., near Rivington Street, at about 11:50 p.m., seriously injuring a man, whose name and age were not released, officials said.

The man was rushed to New York Hospital, the fire spokesman said.

"I came out of the apartment to see what was going on. I looked back out the window and saw a man on the stretcher. Firefighters were standing over him. They were moving fast," said Nilda Cruz, 62, who lives on the eighth floor.

Neighbors described the man as kind, but said he didn't go out of his way to make friends.

"I saw him two days ago," said Carmen Velez, 69, who lives on the 19th floor. "He would say, 'Good morning' and told me how beautiful I looked."

"I feel so bad for him. Nobody deserves this," Velez added.

It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the blaze, but fire marshals are investigating, officials said.