Residents scramble after 2nd fire in a month destroys Paterson building

Residents say a fire that burned at least three buildings in Paterson Wednesday was the second fire in the group of buildings since February. (3/26/14)

PATERSON - Residents say a fire that burned at least three buildings in Paterson Wednesday was the second fire in the group of buildings since February.

Tearany Benjamin is one of dozens of residents who escaped the fire with their lives, but little else. She says she had just enough time to grab her 3-year-old son and run out into the cold street.

Benjamin found herself with other families at a nearby shelter Wednesday night, but the power company had cut electricity. "I'm happy. I'm safe," she says. "So is my son. All that matters is our safety."

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The fire destroyed much of the 500 block of River Street. Another large fire hit the same block just last month, putting the Tropicana Go-Go out of business.

Randy Reynoso witnessed the blaze. "I saw the smoke and there was a person crying and they were bringing a ladder to get that person out," he says.

Benjamin can hardly believe it's happened again. "It's crazy," she says. "They need to check the pipes, the electricity, if something's going on like this."

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