4-alarm fire in Hoboken forces evacuations - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

4-alarm fire in Hoboken forces evacuations

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Hoboken fire officials say a four-alarm fire broke out in Hoboken Sunday afternoon and forced people to evacuate their homes in frigid conditions.

The massive blaze started between 72 and 74 Madison Street and fire crews had to set up the nearby school for evacuation center for the residents of the block. 

Bitterly cold doesn't even begin to describe how cold it is in Hoboken Sunday and with the wind… 

Eyewitnesses told Fox 5 they heard a major explosion, and if firefighters didn't get here as quickly as they did, it would be a very different story. 

"I was just watching TV and I heard a major explosion." 

Chris Barton caught the aftermath of that explosion on his cell phone. In an exclusive video obtained by Fox 5, the flames can be seen ripping through one small Hoboken, New Jersey building and then completely take over another. 

Right now it appears the fire completely gutted both buildings. 

"It was crazy, there was so much smoke. You can see one building catch on fire too, and that one burned down too," said Barton. 

Officials said the fire broke out around 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon when possibly when a resident flicked his cigarette, which then may have caused a propane tank on his back deck to explode. 

Jeff Urschler lives across the street from where the fire broke out. 

"Definitely when we heard the propane tank blew – the sound traveled through the whole house." 

Officials on the scene said high winds also played a factor in fanning and fighting the fire. Luckily a fire house is stationed around the block from the scene. 

Eyewitnesses said Hoboken firefighters got here in what seemed like seconds. 

"First a Hurricane, now this. Luckily the police -- they were here within a minute," said Urschler. 

Fire officials say six apartments were gutted and one person was treated for minor smoke inhalation.

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