Nine people were driven from their homes early Saturday morning when fire broke out in a three-story dwelling at 14 Sidney Street in New Bedford.

According to a post on the New Bedford Fire Department's Facebook page, firefighters responded to the scene just after 5 a.m.

First and second-floor tenants were already awakened thanks to working smoke alarms, and the tenants spotted flames coming from a vacant third floor apartment. The tenants led a 94-year old woman to safety, along with their family and three cats, before firefighters arrived.

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District Chief Scott Gomes confirmed the fire started on the third floor, then spread to the attic and an exterior wall. Fire crews entered the building and extinguished the flames.

Structure Fires via Facebook
Structure Fires via Facebook

There were no injuries reported.

Five adults, including the 94-year old woman, and four children were displaced. All are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Structure Fires via Facebook
Structure Fires via Facebook

Officials say the 94-year old woman had lived in her second-floor apartment for 65 years and told fire investigators she was paying $8 a week for rent when she moved in. Family members have also come to her aid, along with the Red Cross.

The New Bedford Fire Investigation Unit is investigating, but according to the Facebook post, the cause appears to be accidental, originating from an "electrical event" in a third-floor bathroom.

It was the second fire of the weekend, with New Bedford firefighters battling a blaze at a vacant building on Purchase Street early Friday morning.

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