UPDATED, 8 p.m. — A three-alarm fire broke out at 72 Madison St. around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, displacing multiple people and heavily damaging two residential buildings.
Nobody was injured during the fire, public officials said. One resident was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation.
Two three-bedroom apartments at 72 Madison St. were heavily damaged. The building also had a one-bedroom in the basement of the building, which was destroyed after Sandy. The building next door — 74 Madison St. — had been vacant for at least six months, according to a nearby resident, and was supposed to be demolished soon.
The resident said that both 72 and 74 Madison St. had leaking oil tanks under the building. Residents of 76 Madison St. — a three unit building — were able to return to their apartments on Sunday.
Multiple residents said they heard a loud bang, and according to one source at the scene it might have been a propane explosion. The cause of the fire remains unclear as of Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m.
The fire started at 72 Madison St. and spread to numbers 74 and 76, according to Public Safety Director Jon Tooke.
Around 4:30 p.m., residents in the nearby buildings were permitted back into their apartments. The fire was under control around 4 p.m.
A shelter was set up at the Connors School, but no residents from the damaged buildings were there.
Nearby resident Ryan Santonacita, 26, said he heard an explosion from his apartment at First and Jefferson, about a block from the fire. He said the explosion was loud enough to think that the blast happened close by, he said.
The Jersey City Fire Department, Hoboken Police, the Hoboken Fire Department and the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps were on the scene.