High Rise Terror: Massive Blaze on the 20th Floor

Panic as fire breaks out in a 42-story building in midtown Manhattan.
3:00 | 01/05/14

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Transcript for High Rise Terror: Massive Blaze on the 20th Floor
here tonight to a fire in this new york city skyscraper behind me, and from the 26th floor, a frantic tweet from a dad, trapped with his 2-year-old son. Hundreds of families evacuated in the cold tonight, and abc's reena ninan is at the scene. Reporter: Panic as fire breaks out in the 42-story highrise, in the heart of midtown new york. One resident, a man who goes by the name mikey atwall, his wife nadia and 2-year-old son, trapped inside. Atwall live tweeting their desperate situation. First posting this photo of the smoke, with the caption, quote, "stuck on building on 26th floor, building on fire." Firefighters rushing to the scene to battle the blaze. The smoke engulfing parts of the building. Atwall, a scientist and professor, lives on the 26th floor. Minutes later, tweets, "still stuck. Too much smoke on hallways. Elevators not working. Standing in balcony with wife and 2-year-old." More than 133 firefighters responded to the fire. Take a look at the charred remains. It's believed that it started right at the 20th floor or so of this apartment building. We spoke with nadia atwall about their harrowing ordeal. The smoke is so intense and silent. And we put right away wet towels inside our door. That was really the moment where I was seriously scared to death. Reporter: The atwalls and other residents rescued by firefighters. It's not clear when residents will be allowed back in their homes, or exactly how the fire started. Many of them are just grateful to be alive. Reena ninan, abc news, new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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