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Massive Fire Guts Multiple Homes, Cars In Newark

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A massive, wind-fueled fire destroyed five buildings on both sides of a street early Friday morning in Newark.

It broke around 3:30 a.m. in a vacant structure on 9th Avenue and South 14th Street.

"That fire quickly spread to two buildings of the left of it and also across the street to two buildings to the right of it," Newark Fire Deputy Chief Richard Gail said.

The fire also gutted multiple cars and ignited power lines.

"Flames everywhere from this whole building to this house and then it crossed the street over there," neighbor Soraida Perez told CBS2's Reena Roy. "Big fire."

"I heard something, someone screaming, and I looked outside my window on the second floor and see all this fire coming from the building over here," neighbor Shannon Stevens said. "Even though I'm on the opposite side of the street, I can actually feel the heat at my window."

Residents ran out as the fire reached three alarms.

"I'm feeling really bad because it's really cold," said resident Janice Josaphat.

"I see kids running down the street with no shoes on," said Stevens.

One firefighter slipped on ice and was injured. Another firefighter appeared to be injured and was seen being taken away by fellow firefighters.

"The cold is a major issue," Gail said. "The ice and the wind is equally as big a factor."

The Newark Fire Department said they had to ask neighboring towns for assistance in fighting the blaze.

Meanwhile, residents were left picking up the pieces. Many families are now without homes in the new year.

"Sad, very sad because I lost everything," one woman said.

Firefighters were forced to battle another blaze, which also broke out around the same time on Vanderpool Street. Several cars also went up in the flames in that fire, officials said.

Thursday night, officials said a three-alarm fire broke out on Milford Avenue and spread to several nearby buildings. Ten people, including four children, required assistance.

Fire officials say they've responded to 11 fires in Newark since December 30.

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