A smoky, blistering blaze tore through a Queens apartment building early Thursday, leaving one man fighting for his life and five residents injured, officials said. Three firefighters were also hurt as the fire broke out on the fourth floor of a six-story building on Sanford Ave. near 157th St. in Murray Hill around 4:40 a.m., and quickly spread the the fifth and sixth floors. Building resident Hector Bargas said he and his wife Diana Aldana were woken up by his neighbor's screams. "We ran outside and saw smoke," Bargas, 59, said. "One man was taken away on a stretcher, he didn't look good." Some panicked residents banged on doors, alerting their neighbors to the danger. "My neighbor came banging on everyone's door yelling, 'fire!' He told us that something had exploded and that we needed to get out now," said Erica Gutierrez, a 35-year-old beautician living on the fourth floor. "There was too much smoke in the hallway so everyone had to come down the fire escape with their kids," she said. More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze that raged until it was brought under control about 6 a.m., officials said. Paramedics rushed the critically injured man to Jacobi Medical Center, where he remained in grave condition Thursday. His five neighbors and the three firefighters - all suffering minor injuries - received treatment at Queens General Hospital, officials said. It was not immediately clear what started the blaze, which is being investigated by FDNY Fire Marshals.