Fire destroys multiunit building in Passaic, leaves 7 people injured

A fire in Passaic has destroyed an apartment building and left at least seven people injured.
The fire started inside the building on the 800 block of Main Avenue around 4 p.m. Wednesday. The first floor of the building housed a Mexican restaurant and several apartment units.
Officials say that firefighters found several tenants on the fire escapes waiting for help when they first arrived.
"Most people were self-evacuating. We had people trapped on the third floor. They made it to the fire escape. My personnel put ladders up and were able to make rescues off the ladder,” says Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost.
Passaic fire officials say that at least seven people were taken to the hospital for injuries, including a 7-year-old. The extent of the injuries was not immediately known, but they were not considered to be life-threatening.
Passaic Mayor Hector Lora says some of the displaced tenants were at City Hall getting help from the American Red Cross.
Lora says that the building is a total loss. Two buildings on either side are now being checked out for damage.
The cause of the first is under investigation.