Hardware store fire leaves families homeless

A fire in a Fulton Street hardware store on Friday morning left two firefighters injured and several families without a place to live.

The fire began in the Fulton and Rockaway Hardware Store and spread to two adjacent buildings. Many apartments in the three-level buildings were further damaged by water as firefighters spent hours extinguishing the flames. Some residents like Chicketta and Martin Stewart lost everything they owned.

"By time we smelled smoke and we come out, we see the house was engulfed in smoke and we run down the steps," said Chicketta Stewart, who lives on the third floor of one building with her husband. ?Everything is finished. We lost everything.?

While about 15 residents made it out of the buildings with no injuries, officials say that two firefighters suffered minor injuries. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are helping the evacuated families with financial assistance and a temporary place to live.

The fire department is investigating the cause of the fire.

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