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10 Hurt In Bronx Apartment Fire, 100 Firefighters Respond

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- At least 10 people were hurt in a fire at a six-story apartment building Saturday morning the Bronx.

It took more than 100 firefighters just over an hour to bring the two-alarm fire under control.

Firefighters were called to a building on Grand Avenue in Fordham Heights just after 6 a.m.

The fire started in an apartment on the third floor and spread to the fourth and fifth floors, officials said.

Lenin Mejia lives on the second floor.

"Looking through the window, I see little flames coming out. Little tiny flames, and then smoke and then that's when I had to wake up my mom and my sister, we had to get out of here get dressed quickly," he told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

Once he was outside with his family, he documented the fire with his cell phone camera.

"It was shocking and scary," resident Marcia Mejia said.

A pregnant woman was among the residents who had to be rescued.

"One of our units, Ladder 56, rescued three people from the floor above the fire, one pregnant woman and two children," FDNY Deputy Chief David Simms said.

Nine residents and one firefighter were hurt. Everyone is expected to be OK.

Inside the building, water damage made it to the ground floor and residents found that firefighters had gone door to door making sure no one was trapped or injured, in some cases pushing their way in.

Veneliss Olmeida said her door was damaged.

"Completely broken in half right there, can't even lock it correctly. It stays stuck. When you close it, it stays half open," she said.

The American Red Cross arranged for hotel rooms for more than 20 of the residents, and that number is growing.

"There are additional families here that still want to register and still want to move. So I'm going to be here working with them to make sure that the Red Cross takes them in," said City Council member Pierina Sanchez.

Sanchez promised help and resources for fire survivors, and she said upcoming events will spread the word about fire safety.

"We see space heater causes. We see kitchen fire causes, right? So we're doing a lot around educating the community," she said.

That education could have helped prevent some of the damage in this instance.

"The door was left open at this fire," Sims said. "The most important thing they can do, when you leave the fire apartment is to close the door. By closing the door, you'll stop the extension."

A door was also left open in the deadly Bronx high-rise fire on Jan. 9. Seventeen people were killed.

Editor's note: This story was first published Feb. 5.

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