BAYONNE —Two people died and the residents of 72 apartments in two buildings were displaced after a fire early Friday morning.

Firefighters responded to the fire in an apartment on the third floor of a three story apartment building on Islandview Court in the southern end of Bayonne around 2 a.m., according to Bayonne's Office of Emergency Management.

A man and woman in their 70s rescued from the bedroom of their apartment were hospitalized and later died, fire officials told told PIX 11.

RLS Metro Breaking News reported the individuals were a husband and wife.

Fire Chief Keith Weaver told PIX 11 that residents of 18 units in the building and 54 in an adjacent building were not able to immediately return to their homes.

Angelo Purnell wrote on his Facebook page that he was awakened by the sound of firefighters pounding on his door.

The American Red Cross's Diane Concannon told New Jersey 101.5 that their representatives are on site to assist displaced residents.

"With all large fires, as we learn the immediate needs of the affected families, we can open a shelter for these families if necessary. This need has not yet been determined," Concannon said.

Messages for Bayonne police and the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office were not immediately returned early Friday morning.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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