Four building residents were seriously injured in the blaze, including some who jumped from windows on the fifth and sixth floors. Eight of those hurt were firefighters who had minor injuries.
At least 100 people were evacuated from the building and others nearby in the lower Manhattan neighborhood, said Fire Department Chief of Operations Patrick McNally.
"People were yelling and screaming from the fire escape. They were crying for help," Mary Liu, 29, told the New York Daily News. "One lady jumped out of the building. It was chaos."
McNally said the fire, which started on the second floor, was difficult to bring under control because the building was so old. At times, fire could be seen shooting out of the windows and smoke was billowing near the roof.
By midmorning, the fire was largely under control.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
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