Hundreds of people were left homeless after a massive fire tore through a luxury apartment complex in New Jersey Wednesday — leaving many families out in the cold.
The "surreal" blaze, which broke out in the late afternoon and was still raging 12 hours later, engulfed The Avalon at Edgewater, located along the shores of the Hudson River directly across from Manhattan.
One of the residents who wondered what would be left of their homes was long-time New York Yankees radio announcer John Sterling.
While authorities announced that, thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the inferno, Sterling, like many others watched video of the fire on the 10 o'clock news. He saw that the fire struck the side of a section where his apartment was located.
"There are two sides to the building, and unfortunately for me the fire is on my side," said Sterling, who until 10 had not been able to see video of the inferno because the hotel where he has taken shelter does not carry local cable news channels.
"I would expect there would be nothing left," he said.
Sterling, who was relieved that "they got everyone out," said he was not as concerned over the loss of his memorabilia as he was with more mundane needs such as his clothes.
"I'm not a memorabilia person, so that doesn't bother me," he said. "Even my kids' pictures; I'll get other pictures. You can say, well there's that picture of you and [Bill] Clinton and you and [George] Bush and [Rudy] Giuliani, but that's not a big thing to me. I would like to have my clothes and my passport and my bags. But what are you going to do?"
And Sterling's broadcast family kept fans up to date on Twitter:
“@drossnyy: @RealMichaelKay thanks for update. Hope He is okay.”thank goodness he is fine. He can replace things. He realizes that.
— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) January 22, 2015
John Sterling, radio voice of the @Yankees, OK after devastating Edgewater blaze. We're thinking about you, John. http://t.co/mdaieL1tON
— WFAN Sports Radio (@WFAN660) January 22, 2015
Sterling, who has not missed a Yankees game since 1989, called the support he received in the hours after the fire "a wonderful thing."
"I get teary when people are nice to me, so it's been a great outpouring for me," he said. "I just feel sorry for all the families with little kids, dogs. They all have to go somewhere."