A wind-fueled fire ripped through a Delaware apartment Monday night, injuring three firefighters and displacing dozens of residents.
The three-alarm fire started on the second floor at the Village of Barrett's Run on 100 N. Barrett Lane in Newark around 7 p.m. and spread to 24 units. Residents were able to escape unharmed.
“The moment I opened the balcony I saw fire there and things melting down,” Rituraj Kumar told NBC10. “I took my kids and ran out immediately.”
Kumar said there was no warning.
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"The fire was so big, there was no alarm," Kumar said. "It did not ring. Nothing."
The flames were fueled by Monday’s heavy wind gusts.
“It was just flames and the wind,” Joy McKee, a witness, told NBC10. “Every time the wind gust, the flames hit worse.”
Families had no time to grab their belongings as they escaped.
“I think I lost everything,” Kumar said. “All we had. Clothing, jewelry, laptops, documents.”
Firefighters fought the flames for about two hours before bringing the fire under control. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, the Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office said.
The fire did about $1 million in damage and left 52 people out of their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the fire marshal said.
As officials investigated the cause, residents were grateful to be alive but also wondering about their next steps, with many having lost everything.
“Now it’s just material loss but they can be replaced,” McKee said. “But there’s a lot of sadness that’s going to happen here soon.”