Updated 09/13/2012 03:13 PM
Bronx Apartment Fire Seriously Injures Three; FDNY Probes Cause
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An investigation is under way after a fire tore through a Bronx apartment building Wednesday night, injuring several residents and firefighters.
The New York City Fire Department says crews arrived at the building located at 2727 University Avenue in Kingsbridge just after 11:15 p.m. to find residents waiting for help on their fire escapes.
Three people were taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Eight others are being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
"By the time we opened the front door it was black smoke. We couldn't go anywhere," said Tenant Germaine Jenkins.
"It was crazy like something, it was a war zone," noted another tenant.
Residents walking by the scene could not help but notice a prominent blood stain on the building's facade after fire officials say a fifth floor resident broke out of his own apartment windows with his bare hands in panic.
"That's just human instinct you wanna do whatever it takes to save your life," said one passerby.
Investigators believe the fire started in an apartment on the second floor of the north wing.
Firefighters say they became disoriented by smoke after someone created a draft by opening a door on the fifth floor of the building's south wing.
"It almost looked like two separate fires, what we got here because the nature of the smoke pushed out of the fifth floor and the actual fire on the second floor. So it took us a while to get an understanding of what we had," said FDNY Citywide Tour Commander Chief Ronald Spadafora.
Three firefighters also suffered minor injuries.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.