NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- 15 people were left homeless after a raging fire spread from the basement of a three story apartment building, creeping along interior walls, up to the roof. Flames were visible from the New England Thruway causing traffic to slow on the busy Interstate.
New Rochelle Firefighters had to pull back after gas lines broke and natural gas began to fill rooms below. With firefighters evacuated, a Con Edison worker struggle to shut off the gas. The value was frozen solid and did not initially respond to repeated hammering to free up the control to the buildings gas supply.
Once the gas was shut off, firefighters worked the fire from above in a ladder truck.
A second ladder truck struggled to get a water supply.
Once both ladder trucks were in action, the firefighters soon had the fire under control.
The building was fully occupied according to firefighters who spoke with Talk of the Sound. They said the roof was caving and the building was likely a total loss. Four families lived in apartments on the second and third floor. The first floor was a store front.
The fire appeared to have started in the basement. Working was going on in the building and there was some indication that the fire was related to the ongoing work.
The Red Cross responded to the scene.
Mutual aid was provided by Greenville, Eastchester and Yonkers fire departments.