- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - Firefighters in northern New Jersey battled arctic conditions while rescuing more than 20 people from a large-scale apartment fire that broke out in New Brunswick.

Fire officials say the blaze at the three-story structure near Handy Street and Throop Avenue was first reported on Thursday night.

Temperatures dipped to around 19 degrees as fire crews battled the flames. Water from fire hoses encased the burnt-out residence in icicles.

Fire Chief Kevin McCann says fighting fires in cold weather can be dangerous with freezing hoses and freezing on the ground.

Twenty-one people escaped the blaze, which has displaced a total of 40 residents. The Red Cross is assisting all affected families.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. An investigation is ongoing.

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