A brave firefighter who disappeared inside a blazing elderly home is missing, along with multiple pensioners, the New York Fire Department said.
The courageous serviceman went inside a building on Lafayette Street in Spring Valley, and was missing for over an hour when colleagues raised the alarm, Trooper Steven Nevel of the Public Information Officer for Troop F said.
Several elderly are also missing, but it is unclear at this stage just how many residents are unaccounted for.
Mr Nevel added that another firefighter suffered a heart attack while battling the fire, which engulfed the entire downtown New York building.
The property, a 200-capacity nursing home, reportedly collapsed in on itself after it had been alight for more than two hours.
A “massive explosion” reportedly caused the cave-in, and early reports suggest several people were trapped inside, although this has not been confirmed by emergency personnel.
Shocking footage of the fire shows the nursing home engulfed in flames as people watch on from the car park opposite the property.
Parts of the building were shown visibly collapsing in on itself as the raging blaze took hold.
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Responders were also spotted evacuating people from inside the building.
New York-based journalist, Steve Scott, said residents were safe and had been moved to another facility.
Local buses were reportedly being used to keep elderly residents who had escaped the building warm, and to transport them to other locations.
Mr Nevel confirmed the safety of some pensioners who have since been bussed out to new senior centres for the time being, he said.
Eyewitness Mark Kennedy told Insider that the fire had been “raging”, and that the building was “completely destroyed.”
He told the outlet: “The fire was probably raging for around two hours, or maybe more, before the building caved in.”