NEW YORK -- Nearly 200 firefighters are battling a fast-growing, now five-alarm fire that is tearing through an apartment building in Hamilton Heights Friday afternoon, sending dark plumes of smoke billowing over northern Manhattan, WPIX reports.
The fire broke out just after 3 p.m. inside the six-story building at 565 W. 144th St. near Broadway. The fire was still raging 90 minutes later, and has collapsed the roof of the building, which covers a large portion of the city block. Crews are fighting the blaze from ladders and also from the rooftops of adjacent buildings as the fire continues to spread through neighboring apartments.
Firefighters are having a hard time getting an upper hand on the fast-moving blaze as the entire neighborhood has been filled with heavy smoke that’s drifted due to strong winds in the area. Many residents were visibly upset as they realized their homes were completely destroyed.
Witnesses took to social media as black smoke could be seen from miles away. People in the area say sections of the building’s facade are falling to the street. Police are urging everyone to stay away from the area.
No injuries have been reported. It is not clear yet how many people have been displaced. There is no word on what caused the fire.