4 hurt in smoky midtown high-rise fire

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HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan — Four residents were hurt Wednesday in an apartment fire that sent thick black smoke rising above midtown streets, officials said.

A call came in about 1:50 p.m. about a fire on the 11th floor of an apartment building at 747 10th Ave., according to an FDNY spokesman.

It took about an hour for crews to extinguish the blaze and officials at the scene said it was difficult because the apartment was cluttered.

But residents said the smoke was even worse than the flames. Video shows thick black smoke billowing from the burning unit.

Many residents couldn't evacuate immediately because the smoke was so thick, so they stayed on the phone with fire officials to determine when was the safest time to leave.

Four residents suffered minor injuries; three of them were taken to hospitals while a fourth refused medical attention, officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.