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Dozens Left Homeless Following Early Morning Fire

Three homes damaged on N. 5th Street Thursday

Firefighters battled an early morning blaze that left two homes uninhabitable and damaged a third, a Newark Fire Department spokesman said Thursday.

Fire broke out in the rear of 273 N. 5th Street around 1:12 am and quickly spread to 275 N. 5th St., Capt. John Brown said. The damage at both addresses was most severe on the second and third floors. The fire, whose cause is still unknown, may have been driven by high winds.

Seventeen units and 75 firefighters were on scene for nearly an hour before the 3-alarm blaze  was declared under control a little after 2 am. Mutual aid from neighboring fire departments was called in to provide coverage at city firehouses.

The most severely damaged homes, 273 and 275 N. 5th Street, each contain two apartments housing a total of 24 people -- 13 adults and 11 children. All were displaced by the fire.

A third residence, 271 N. 5th St., a single-family home, sustained some damage but was still habitable, Brown said.

A woman who resided at 275 N. 5th Street was hospitalized after suffering an anxiety attack, Brown said. There were no other reported injuries.

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