Residents of the 9-story Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building were lined up and down Atlantic Avenue near Third Avenue early this afternoon after a fire broke out on the fifth floor.
Approximately a dozen fire units and 60 firefighters responded to the all hands call that came in at just before 1 p.m., a fire department spokesperson said. Four minor injuries were reported, and the fire was under control by 1:15 p.m.
The building, which is run by Lutheran Social Services, provides housing for many elderly and disabled people. On the street today, there were residents with walkers and in wheelchairs, and chairs had been set up for older residents to sit in while the firefighters put out the blaze.
The fire department is still investigating what caused the fire.
Frank and Margarita Onorio live on the third floor.
"I smelled smoke. I heard an alarm. I said, 'let's take the stairs!' said Margarita, on the sidewalk, clearly shaken up by the event.
Pascual Valle lives on the eighth floor, and he heard glass breaking.
"I ws watching my DVD and heard glass crashing," he said. "I went into the kitchen and smelled fire so I ran downstairs."
Valle said he was impressed with how quickly the fire department responded.
"This is why he shouldn't close down any firehouses," he said. "They might not have got here so quickly."