Updated 01/24/2013 09:23 AM
FDNY Probes Cause Of Manhattan Apartment Fire
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Firefighters braved the cold Wednesday night to put out a fire engulfing a Washington Heights apartment building.
The fire started at approximately 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The fire department said the fire started in stores on the first floor that looked like they were under renovation.
The fire quickly traveled up the walls into residential apartments on the second, third, fourth and part of the fifth floor of the building, according to the fire department.
The fire department said a minimum of eight apartments (two on every floor) were impacted by fire damage, while others may have water damage.
The fire was under control at approximately 11 p.m., according to the fire department.
Firefighters battled cold conditions as well as the fire. The water hitting the ground iced up immediately, but the fire department said there were no frozen hydrants or hose lines.
Residents said the smoke was their alarm.
"I was inside, I was getting ready to walk my dogs. I was getting ready to walk into the hallway, filled with smoke," said one resident. "Second floor. That's where we noticed the smoke. We got everybody out of the second floor. We thought it was over. The smoke came back even more. It was more so on the third floor now. We were worried the fire was going to wall, so we had to evacuate everybody."
NY1 is told that residents are banding together, with some sleeping in apartments that are unaffected. It is unclear, though, how many people are going to be looking for shelter for the evening from the Red Cross.