PATERSON — A barking dog is being credited with alerting a family to a fire in a building that collapsed during a fire early Monday morning.

Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that flames broke out at the three story brick building on River Street in Paterson around 1 a.m. which housed both businesses and homes. The chief said the building was "falling apart" and a collapse zone that firefighters were prohibited from entering had been established.

River Street was closed in both directions between Fulton Street and Straight Street because of the fire.

Resident Abraham Morales told the news outlet his dog wouldn't stop barking, which woke up his daughter to smoke and a fire alarm. Another resident told News 12 New Jersey she climbed down the fire escape holding her toddler son.

Fire at a building on River Street in Paterson
Fire at a building on River Street in Paterson (RLS Metro Breaking News)

Another tweet by News 12 New Jersey showed a van that belonged to a karate school instructor in the building crushed by the collapse. The building is also home to an upholsterer, a tire shop, a furniture store, a party supply store and an appliance store.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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