9 injured, 1 critically, after fire breaks out in East Harlem apartment

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — At least one person is in critical condition and eight others were injured after a fire erupted at an apartment building in East Harlem Friday morning.

The fire broke out on the sixth floor of the James Welden Johnson Houses on East 112 Street around 3:30 a.m.

Seven people living in the NYCHA housing development, five children and their parents were taken to nearby hospitals for smoke inhalation, according to the fire department. Two firefighters were also injured from the fire. Of the injured, one is in serious condition, and one in critical condition, officials said.

The Red Cross responded to the scene, but did not need to assist.

Investigators say the cause of the fire was due to an overloaded surge protector connected to a space heater and Christmas lights.

The FDNY praised the firefighters Amir Frances and Justin Pelka for rescuing the family from the fire, and said Lt. Ryan MacDougall and Firefighter Osmar Martinez also helped in the rescue.