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Fire Rips Through Multiple Floors Of Harlem Apartment Building

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An extra-alarm fire ripped through a six-story apartment building in Harlem Friday afternoon, sending flames shooting out of the roof.

The fire broke out at 5:14 p.m. at 109 W. 112th St., near St. Nicholas Avenue, Joe Biermann reported from Chopper 2.

The fire was first reported on the fifth floor, Biermann reported. It later spread to the sixth floor, and eventually shot through the roof.

The blaze was quickly raised to a second alarm and later a third alarm, Biermann reported.

A total of 140 firefighters and 33 units were sent to the scene, the FDNY said. Firefighters had to cut holes in the roof in an effort to release the heat and smoke.

It was an alarming afternoon for residents.

"One of my neighbors just from the lower floor just went through the building screaming, 'Fire! Fire! Fire!'" said resident Carmelita Clinton.

"Me and this other dude ran inside, banged on everybody's door," said resident Vincent Rice. "By the time we got to the fifth floor, I touched the door that was on fire, and it was real hot."

The fire was out by 6:30 p.m.

Fire officials told CBS 2's Tracee Carrasco the fire started in an apartment filled with clutter, which made fighting the blaze difficult. The occupant was not home at the time, officials said.

Six apartments were left uninhabitable by the blaze, and about 24 residents were displaced, officials said.

The American Red Cross in Greater New York said it was helping at least six families – 11 adults and four children – with emergency housing.

No residents were injured.

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