Taylor KnightApr 23, 2018, 1:10 pm

Number of cats dead after overnight fire destroys businesses, homes in Jersey City

Flames erupt on Bergen Avenue, force over a dozen families onto streets


JERSEY CITY- Around 18 families have lost their homes in a four-alarm fire that broke out Monday around midnight on Bergen Avenue. In total three buildings were evacuated, including one with a grocery store. Reports say that all residents were able to make it out safely, however, some house cats did not survive.

Resident Georgeanna Howell says she had six kids and three adults that were displaced in her home, and that all of the residents in the buildings were taken to a hotel nearby. Firefighters were able to rescue one cat from the roof.

Flames were still shooting out of the roof more than two hours after the fire started.

“You know how fires work. It escalated real quick and before you know it, everything was on fire and you couldn't see anything from Oxford and Bergen to Clendenny 'cause the smoke was just, there was a just a thick cloud of smoke all over the place,” a Jersey City resident said.

Howell said the fire was extremely strong, and residents are lucky to be alive. Residents were very grateful with how the fire department handled the situation.

“There were flames literally in the sky. The fire department did a good job jumping on top of it. It was, it was a bad fire,” another resident said.

Reports say two firefighters were treated for minor burns, but are expected to be okay.

“The firemen had a hard time putting that second [fire] out on the roof,” Howell said.

The fire was reported to begin in the alleyway between two of the buildings. However, fire officials have not yet confirmed that information.

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