Fire officials say the blaze was first reported around noon Thursday at 854 North 8th Street. It quickly spread to the roofs of two adjacent homes to the north.
According firefighters' union representative John Stribula, five firefighters have been taken to area hospitals to be treated for overexertion and dehydration. Several others were being treated at the scene.
Fire department Captain John Christopher told Action News that efforts to fight the fire have been hampered by lack of manpower due to new guidelines set forth in a new firefighter contract that took effect Saturday August 18.
Christopher said the same contract change also took the city from two ladder trucks down to one.
He said there was a delay getting the second ladder truck to the scene of the 8th Street fire Thursday.