19 Hurt in NYC Fire After Building's Alarm Fails

The cause of the fire remains unknown

Saturday, Mar 9, 2013  |  Updated 3:46 PM EDT
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19 Hurt in NYC Fire After Building's Alarm Fails

A two-alarm fire in a 40-story building in New York City Side left 19 people injured early Saturday morning after the building's alarms failed to go off, authorities said.

The fire began around 3:45 a.m. on the 12th floor of a high-rise building on Manhattan's Upper West Side and was contained to one apartment, fire officials said.

The building's centralized alarm system did not detect the fire and a security guard in the building's lobby had to be alerted about the fire by a passerby, authorities said.

It took over 100 firefighters more than two hours to get the fire under control. While the flames were contained to one apartment, smoke quickly traveled through the hallways and vents of the 40-story tower.

"I didn't even know there was a fire. There was just black all over the floor," said building resident Tom McNulty. "I grabbed my friends and yelled to my partner 'we gotta get out!'"

Ten residents suffered smoke inhalation, and several had to be treated at a nearby hospital. Three firefighters also suffered smoke inhalation and six firefighters were treated for burns on their legs.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. An investigation is ongoing.

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