UPDATE: Firefighters rescued a woman while others fled from danger during an intense blaze that consumed a large Clifton multi-family building, killing a dog and a cat and driving 21 people from their homes.
The six-alarm blaze broke out on the upper floor of a three-apartment Lexington Avenue home next to a Clifton Avenue gas station around 2:30 p.m.
It quickly went to two alarms as firefighters who arrived within moments climbed portable ladders looking for occupants and thick black smoke poured into the sky.
They rescued one woman who apparently was preparing to jump from a second floor window. She was hospitalized with injuries that authorities didn’t consider life-threatening.
Two police officers were treated for smoke inhalation, responders said.
A dog also was seen being carried by a firefighter.
Utility lines fell into the street as flames spread to an adjoining home.
Firefighters knocked down the blaze and had it under control a little over an hour and a half after it broke out.
The cause wasn’t immediately determined.
Reports that the fire had spread to the gas station were incorrect, witnesses said.
Clifton firefighters were assisted at the scene or in coverage by their colleagues from companies in Belleville, Bloomfield, Montclair, Nutley, Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Paterson, Passaic, Prospect Park and Totowa and the West Paterson Fire Department.
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