NEWBURGH - Several families escaped heavy smoke and flames inside their building in Newburgh overnight.

Fire officials say they arrived at the scene on Liberty Street around 10:30 p.m. yesterday.

They say residents were panicking on the fire escape, clinging onto their small children. The families were forced outside because the fire began under a stairwell.

Crews were able to knock down the fire in a matter of minutes, and no one was hurt.

Many of the people living in the building were allowed back inside.