PATERSON - A fire today burned three homes and left 13 people homeless in Paterson.

The three-alarm fire began in a vacant home at 195 Rosa Parks Blvd. at approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. It spread next door to an occupied home and then to another vacant home before fire crews were able to knock down the flames.

Manuel Washington says he and his family were woken up by smoke alarms and scrambled to escape their home. No one was injured, but fire officials say the home will have to be demolished.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Hancock told The Record newspaper that it took nearly three hours to bring the fire under control.