EAST FLATBUSH - The Red Cross is assisting five families this evening after a fire ripped through their East Flatbush apartment building on New Year's Day. Officials say the fire broke out shortly after 11 a.m. at 2223 Cortelyou Road. They say it started on the fourth floor, and quickly spread before an explosion went off. Six residents and three firefighters were hospitalized with minor injuries.

"The fire was coming out the window, big flames," one neighbor said. "And then you felt the heat outside." The cause of the fire is still under investigation.