‘Blessed to be alive’: Massive fire destroys homes, vehicles in New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. — Flames ripped through homes and vehicles in Newark, New Jersey Friday morning, destroying at least eight buildings and injuring a firefighter according to PIX11.

The fire broke out at South 14th Street and Ninth Avenue early Friday. Reports were made around 3:45 a.m. and firefighters continued to battle the blaze two hours later.

Eight homes appeared to be destroyed, two of which collapsed. Several vehicles were also on fire and completely gutted by flames.

One firefighter was seen hobbling as he was escorted by fellow firefighters from the destruction. The extent of his injuries are not known.

Residents did manage to escape, officials said.

"We’re blessed to be alive. We thank God that we got out in time. I’m telling you it’s just that bad," one resident said. "The TV had exploded in front of my eyes.”

Two locals told PIX11 smoke overtook the building and the electricity went out. That's when the TV burst.

They managed to escape as emergency lights turned on, helping them find their way out.

The pair said they did not hear any smoke detectors. Officials have not said if the buildings were outfitted with alarms.

Video of the scene showed blank spaces where homes used to stand.

As firefighters stood hosing hot spots and homes still on fire, water quickly froze on blackened homes and vehicles.

Temperatures in the area were 5 degrees, with a feels-like temperature of negative 13 degrees Friday morning.

It is not yet known how many people were displaced by the blaze.

Story from PIX11.