A five-alarm fire broke out early Saturday morning in Hamilton Heights, FDNY said.

According to the FDNY, fire marshals believe that the cause of the fire, which broke out around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, was accidental.

The FDNY said electrical wiring in the ceiling of the building’s top floor ignited the blaze.

What You Need To Know

  • The city’s Department of Buildings issued a full vacate order, affecting more than 40 apartments and over 100 residents

  • The five-alarm fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Saturday

  • The FDNY said the cause was accidental, after electrical wiring in the ceiling of the building’s top floor ignited the blaze

However, once the fire on West 141 Street was out, no residents were allowed inside.

The city’s Department of Buildings issued a full vacate order for more than 40 apartments.

As intense flames and heavy smoke engulfed the apartment building, Dionisha Montano arrived home around 2 a.m. and begged firefighters to enter her first-floor apartment to save her 1-year-old dog, Yogi.

“I asked one of the firemen to go inside and grab my dog,” said Montano. “They couldn’t for a while until the fire was under control, and then luckily I gave the fireman my keys and they grabbed my dog and we kinda just had to wait it out.” 

Montano said she considers herself lucky that she and her boyfriend and their dog, Yogi, will be able to stay with her family. But she is aware many of her neighbors aren’t as fortunate.

“A lot of people lost everything,” Montano said. “We don’t have no clothes right now or anything else we can do. They’re not letting anyone in the building. It’s very sad right now. It’s very hard.”

The Red Cross said by Saturday afternoon, it had registered 109 people from 37 families from the building who were displaced and needed assistance. The organization was offering food and resources at a center set up in a nearby school.

As of Sunday, displaced families were taken to a hotel in the Bronx, where they will stay for at least a few days, according to City Councilman Shaun Abreu. Abreu says he is working with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to secure short-term and long-term housing solutions for the displaced families.

According to the FDNY, nine people, including two firefighters, suffered minor injuries.

Some residents and neighbors are feeling relieved and grateful that no one was badly hurt — given the chaos brought by the scene. 

“This is bad because that fire did not take very long to spread from like one side of the building to the other,” said Jesse Liriano, who lives nearby.

In the meantime, the Red Cross said caseworkers will remain committed to helping displace residents with long-term assistance.