Massive Upper East Side fire leaves 1 dead, 7 firefighters injured

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UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — A man is dead and 13 people, including eight firefighters, are hurt following a huge fire at a century-old Upper East Side apartment early Thursday.

Flames broke out at 324 E. 93rd St. in Yorkville around 3:20 a.m. and spread throughout the building, FDNY said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but are still monitoring the building for hotspots.

The FDNY confirmed a man died in the fire and five civilians were hurt.

One of victims, who was saved in a daring FDNY rescue from the burning 5-story building, is in serious condition at a local hospital.

“It was a gentleman partly out the window with a lot of smoking coming out of his head,” firefighter Jim Lee said in an early press conference. “Myself and two members from Ladder 13 and 43 set up the light and life-saving rope and they lowered me over. Probably one of most dangerous volutions we do and that’s why we train so much on it.”

Eight firefighters also suffered injuries, but they are considered minor.

The building, which is more than 100 years old, is a “complete loss,” according to the FDNY. There is some damage to two neighboring buildings.

Dozens of people were quickly evacuated when the fire began to roar. Residents from the neighboring buildings spoke to PIX11 about how terrifying it was to wake up to a knock in the middle of the night.

“I smelled smoke and then by the window I saw sparks and  then I saw flames,” one woman said. “That’s when me and my husband just decided to leave the house.”

“When you wake up in the middle of the night it’s the last thing you can imagine,” another woman said. “In the middle of your sleep its the worst thing.”

FDNY was still present at the scene Thursday night, causing closures on 93rd Street is closed between First and Second avenues, and First Avenue between 91st and 94th streets.

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