"Families in an adjacent building were forced to flee when flames jumped across a small alley," The New York Times reported.
Box 11 was transmitted shortly before 3 a.m. and firefighters, back in quarters from an earlier third-alarm blaze, responded to a chaotic scene.
Gasoline was poured throughout the tenement, blocking exits.
Fire Engineering magazine said:
"The guy was fantastic," Fire Chief Harold Kane said.
McGuire raced up and down a ladder, removing a 10-year-old boy, a woman and a man from a third-floor window. He then "groped in the dark" and found an unconscious 9-year-old boy in a rear bedroom, UPI reported.
Firefighters recovered the bodies of Edwin Perez, 34, his wife Irene, 38, and their children, Alejandro, 5, Carmen, 10, and Edwin Ramon, 11. Luis Alberto Perez, 23, a relative, was also found dead.
The other fatalities were identified as Gloria Hendley, 26, and Ramon Diaz, 56.
Twenty-four people were injured, including three firefighters.
Leonides Garcia, 37, was convicted of setting the blaze, Fire Engineering reported. Police said Garcia had been "making passes" at a tenant for several months and she wanted none of it, according to UPI.