NEWARK - A Newark family is without a home after a fire that began in a vacant home next door spread to their own.

Crews were called to the scene on Hudson Street at around 4:30 p.m. Friday and immediately called for a second alarm when it was discovered that more than one structure was burning. A third alarm was eventually requested.

"The main fire building was already in a state of collapse in the rear of the building and the fire spread into both exposure buildings upon arrival," says Newark Fire Chief John Centanni.

A family of seven who lived in a three-story building escaped unharmed, but say the fire originated an adjacent home.

That family says they have seen squatters in the abandoned home and have been asking the city to board up the building for months. "My wife could've been dead up there!" says Felix Nivar. "She's pregnant and with two of my daughters!."

The third home affected by the fire was also vacant.

Owners of vacant buildings are responsible for having them secured.