JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) — Eighteen people were forced from their homes Wednesday night following a four-alarm fire in Jersey City.
According to Jersey City fire officials, calls for the fire came in around 10 a.m. at a home on Olean Avenue. The fire quickly spread to the houses on either side. Six units in total were destroyed. Some residents lost everything they owned. Luckily, no residents or firefighters were injured.
Oscar Ruiz, a tenant on the first floor of the home where the fire started, said he was in the shower when he heard people yelling.
“I didn’t even shut the shower off,” said Ruiz. “I put my towel on. I came out of the shower, I opened the door, and all I see is smoke — smoke everywhere,” said Ruiz. “I had my phone in my hand and my towel. I ran straight outside, no sandals, still wet.”
“I came out of the bathroom seeing my uncle yelling at us, saying ‘Fire! Fire!’” said tenant Jose Alejandro. “I went to open the door and when I opened it, there was smoke everywhere.”
Several residents, including Ruiz and Alejandro, told PIX11 News that construction workers were repairing a roof in the back of the house when the fire started.
“I think they caused the fire because they were using a blow torch against the roof, trying to attach wood to it with, like, shellac,” said Ruiz.
“My uncle had smelled it and told them to pack up and leave because y’all burning stuff here,” said Alejandro. “They weren’t doing it the right way.”
The construction company owner told PIX11 News by phone Wednesday afternoon that he wasn’t aware of the fire and said his workers were only there to collect leftover materials from the job.
Jersey City fire officials said the cause of the fire is under investigation.