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A firefighter and some residents are unaccounted for in a fire at a New York senior center

One firefighter is missing and residents are unaccounted for in a fire at a residential senior center in New York City’s northern suburbs, an official said early Tuesday.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many residents couldn’t be located amid the blaze in Spring Valley, Trooper Steven Nevel of New York State Police’s Troop F said around 4 a.m. ET. It also wasn’t known whether any residents had been hurt or killed.

The firefighter had gone missing about an hour earlier inside the fire on Lafayette Street, Nevel said.

Another firefighter suffered a heart attack and was taken to a hospital with injuries, he said.

State police were sending help, including one K9 unit and supervisors, and seniors from the center were being bussed out of the area, Nevel told CNN. Spring Valley is about 40 miles north of midtown Manhattan.

Seniors in wheelchairs whisked from danger

Spring Valley resident Hershey Green and others saw the flames and ran in to help residents, he told CNN affiliate WCBS.

They “literally ran in and helped out with the seniors,” Green said as flames continued to burn through the building behind him. “There was plenty of just good Samaritans out here, about eight of them that literally ran into the building and bring them out in the wheelchairs, walkers, and literally picking them up and physically removing them out of the danger.”

Residents were put onto a school bus as their home burned, Greed told WCBS.

“They were speechless. It was really traumatic to see that,” he said. “Watching their facility, their home going down in flames was something really traumatic.”

Firefighters doused the building with water as towering flames tore through what was left of the structure, video shows.

Raymond Rodriguez was staying at his uncle’s apartment near the senior center when the fire started, he told CNN affiliate WABC.

Rodriguez could see firefighters pull two people from the fire, he said.

“It’s just a sad day for the people of this town” he told WABC, adding that firefighters evacuated people to the courtyard in the building where he was staying as they fought the blaze.

The vinyl siding of the apartment building appeared melted and warped, WABC video shows.

Charles Crippen, who lives in the building with the melted siding, was prepared to leave his home if the fire spread, he said.

“It’s pretty devastating,” he told WABC. “That’s a lot of old folks that was living over there, handicapped and stuff like that, and they are all out of a home now.”

CNN has reached out to multiple agencies and officials for more information.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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