Aalya Moses was having trouble sleeping just before 1 a.m., when she heard frantic knocking. Her neighbor, Behailu Kebede, said his refrigerator had caught fire.
“He looked so scared, so frightened,” Ms. Moses said. “I phoned my daughter and she said to me, ‘Just get out of the house.’”
She passed firemen going up the stairs. Outside, she saw that the blaze had spread from her neighbor’s unit and raced up the side of the building.