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Firefighters rescue couple from unit above burning deli

Posted: Updated:
PASSAIC -

A fast-moving fire destroyed a well-known Passaic deli and briefly trapped two people who lived in an apartment above.

Passaic fire officials say firefighters arrived at the King of Delancy deli around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. They say the fire apparently started in the building's basement and made its way up into the rest of the structure through voids in the walls.

Firefighters used a ladder to get to the trapped couple and were able to bring them down to safety. They were not hurt.

The blaze burned for several hours before it was contained. Several firefighters suffered minor injuries - mostly cuts, burns and bruises - and another was treated for exhaustion.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora says that the loss of the deli is a tragedy to the community.

“So many individuals come to eat there. It’s one of our few kosher restaurants. We have a very large Orthodox Jewish community here…it’s even one of the favorite spots for the council members,” Lora says. “But our priority is life and there was no life lost.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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