THE BRONX - Seven families in Mott Haven were left homeless ahead of the holiday weekend after a fast-moving fire tore though their apartment building Thursday morning.

Tenants at 597 East 138th St. returned to their destroyed homes Friday to salvage the few belongings that survived the fire. Investigators say the flames started inside the kitchen of a third-story apartment. The cause of the fire hasn't yet been determined.

The displaced tenants were put up in a temporary shelter by the Red Cross until they find a permanent residence.