MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, N.Y. (PIX11)—Close to two dozen people were injured Friday morning in a fire at a homeless shelter where emergency exits were allegedly locked and a faulty sprinkler system failed to work.
What could have ended in tragedy instead resulted in 21 injuries that included five firefighters and a 14-year-old girl, fire officials said.
According to authorities, the fire broke out at around 6:15 a.m. on the ninth floor of a 18-story apartment building at 2720 Broadway in Morningside Heights. The building houses a family residence ran by the Volunteers of America.
Residents reportedly said in addition to locked emergency exits and a broken sprinkler system, fire alarms did not go off after the fire broke out.
Those claims are now being investigated by FDNY officials who were still on the scene Friday afternoon interviewing residents.
It took firefighters about an hour to contain the flames, officials said.
Those injured in the fire were transported to Harlem Hospital where the extent of their injuries were deemed minor.
Over twenty homeless families who resided at the Morningside Heights shelter are reportedly in the process of being relocated.