LAKEWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) -- Firefighters battled a large multi-alarm apartment fire in Lakewood, New Jersey, that has injured nine people, including eight first responders.
The blaze was reported around 2:30 p.m. in a three story apartment building in the 100 block of Sophee Lane. The complex is known as the Covington Village Apartments, a community for people over 55.
Heavy fire was showing on all three floors when crews arrived.
It was an emotional night as family members reunited with loved ones chased from their homes by fire.
Chopper 6 HD shows flames ripping through the roof of a 3-story condo building at Covington Village, a 55 and over community.
The Action Cam captured black smoke and within 10 minutes the flames were shooting out.
Joe Cunha heard a neighbor yelling and escaped his first floor condo with little more than the clothes he's wearing.
He said, "There's a fire in the back of the building and that's when I grabbed my wife, my keys and phones and took off."
While Firefighters attacked the blaze from above, crews searched all 30 units.
Two police officers rescued one resident. All three were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.
Four firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. Another first responder was treated for a medical emergency. Officials say the fire could have been much worse.
Assistant Chief Steve Mulholland of Lakewood Fire Department said, "Extremely lucky that this didn't happen in the middle of the night, everybody would be sleeping."
Meanwhile Red Cross volunteers met with most of the 37 residents displaced by the fire.
"Some will be staying with friends or family, but depending how many will need lodging will determine what we do next," Diane Concannon of The American Red Cross-New Jersey said.
With the roof and 3rd floor completely destroyed, building manager and resident Marian Cimato knows she lost almost everything, but isn't giving up.
"We're strong. We'll get through it. We'll rebuild," she said.
All firefighters were released from the hospital, but the resident will spend the night.
So far, no word on what sparked the fire.
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