Updated 09/03/2012 05:39 PM
Fire Officials Investigate Cause Of Suspicious Crown Heights Blaze
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An apartment building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn was gutted by a fast-moving fire early Monday.
Crews were called to the four-story building on Carroll Street just after 2:30 a.m. today.
The fire is believed to have started on the second floor and the flames quickly spread through the top three floors of the building.
More than 100 firefighters took about two hours to get the flames under control.
"I saw flames coming out the whole building. I thought the whole building was going to blow up," said eyewitness Dwayne Pettway.
Six residents were treated for minor injuries.
Ten firefighters were also injured, including one who suffered burns to the neck and another who was treated for chest pains.
Fire officials said the blaze seemed suspicious.
"Based on the amount of fire on arrival, kind of unusual in an occupied building to have that much fire on arrival that no one smelled smoke earlier. I want the marshals to look at it," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Jack Mooney.
Residents in the close-knit Orthodox Jewish community were quick to check on friends and family who lived in the building.
"My siblings started coming to the door, yelling 'Fire, fire,' so, we just all got out of there," said one resident.
Eli Raskin and his family escaped the burning building safely, but they lost all their possessions, except for the clothes on their backs, a wedding photo and some religious books.
"I thought it was the air conditioner in the kid's bedroom. I went to my kid's bedroom, turned it off and still heard the noise. Then I smelled a very, very strong smell of burning rubber. I looked out of the window, I didn't see anything," said Raskin. "But then I saw smoke and then I heard the noise from the smoke detector. I called my wife, in the bedroom, the top, top floor, last corner. I grabbed the baby, put something on and then went to grab my other three children."
Fire marshals were working Monday to determine the cause of the blaze.