27 nuns, 2 priests safely escape Englewood Cliffs retirement community fire

Over 25 retired nuns and two priests were able to safely escape a fire that sparked at their retirement community Wednesday morning.

A fire ripped through the historic St. Michael's Villa Wednesday in Bergen County. (Photo courtesy: Palisades Parkway police)

A fire ripped through the historic St. Michael's Villa Wednesday in Bergen County. (Photo courtesy: Palisades Parkway police) (10/12/16)

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS - Over 25 retired nuns and two priests were able to safely escape a fire that sparked at their retirement community Wednesday morning.

A fire started at Saint Michael’s Villa in Englewood Cliffs around 7 a.m. The building is home to the Sisters of Saint Joseph’s of Peace. It is a satellite campus of Saint Peter’s University.

Police say the flames spread to the ceiling of the five-floor building. They say the fire started outside below the residence and quickly spread up through an elevator shaft. 

The complex is made up of two buildings, one to house retired nuns and another as an attached infirmary.

About 11 fire departments responded to fight the fire, which took over four hours to extinguish.

The 27 nuns were evacuated to St. Peter’s University, where they will stay for the time being.

None of the residents were injured, but several firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Classes at the university were canceled for the rest of Wednesday amid the investigation into the cause of the fire.

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