Families displaced, firefighters hurt by Newark blaze

NEWARK, N.J. — Multiple families can’t go home Thursday night after a blaze that injured three firefighters ripped through three buildings in Newark.

Firefighters responded at about 9:15 a.m. to the blaze at Johnson and Hillside avenues.

The blaze appears to have broken out in an abandoned three-story building. Flames quickly spread to the adjacent homes.

Three firefighters were injured and two of them were taken to a hospital. One hurt his hand, another hurt his foot and a third firefighter was treated at the scene of a minor cut to his head then he returned to duty.

The fire was under control by 10:18 a.m., about an hour after it began.

Witness Cindy Osei captured footage, embedded below, of the blaze as it was raging, sending thick black smoke into the air

"I can feel the intense heat all the way across the street from this burning house. Poor neighbors," she wrote.

The abandoned building where the fire started partially collapsed.

"When I was inside somebody came and knocked on my door and said, ‘Come out! Come out! The house is on fire!'" Erika Calva Lopez said.

Lopez lives with her husband, uncle and three children in one of the houses that burned.

"I hope I can go back inside because all my belongings, like passports and everything, is inside,” Lopez said.

The Red Cross is assisting three families, including nine adults and seven children, with hotel accommodations until they can find a permanent place to stay.

Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson said the cause of the blaze is “undetermined right now.” He said the Newark Arson Squad is investigating.