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Blaze rips through four houses in Newark, displaces 40 people

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NEWARK, N.J. — A four-alarm fire tore through four houses in Newark Saturday night, displacing 40 people.

The fire started just before 10 p.m. at 295 Lafayette St. and quickly spread to three other houses before firefighters extinguished the blaze two hours later, John Brown, a spokesman for the Newark Fire Department. No injuries were reported.

Two of the houses were destroyed and the two others were badly damaged, Brown said.

The Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for families who lost their homes and their belongings in a weekend fire.

The four alarm fire on LaFayette Street in Newark destroyed not only four homes, but it disrupted the lives of at least 39 residents, including three generations of the Bartholomew family.

While the cause is still unknown it took two hours to bring this fire under control, nobody was injured but so many lost so much.

"They lost everything and now they need everything," said Sandra Martins, a relative of the Bartholomew family.

The Red Cross opened a reception center nearby and is providing temporary emergency shelter for two families. The rest are staying with friends and relatives. One man who lost everything in a previous  fire came here to offer to help others.

"Unless you have been through it before , you don't know what it is like to lose all those memories," John Coracini, clutching his pooch, Beto, told PIX11.

Donations of everything from children's clothing to pots and pans can be dropped off at Titanic Restaurant on Market Street or at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Elizabeth or the Red Cross.