NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- On a cold, windy evening in the south end of New Rochelle firefighters battled to knock down a tenacious structure fire while trying to prevent it from engulfing a neighboring house.
They partly succeeded, knocking down the fire at the first house but not before the second house suffered signigicant damage including with one side of the house badly burned and broken windows throughout the second floor,
The call came in about 7 p.m., soon expanding to a 2nd and then 3rd alarm as mutual aide calls went out to Yonkers, Pelham Manor and other area fire companies. Fifty fire fighters were on scene, according to NRHD Chief Lou DiMeglio.
When firefighters arrived in the scene two occupants of the house at 201 Elm Street were on the porch roof of the house, ready to jump off. Firefighters were able to position a ladder to allow two people to scramble down to safety.
Initial reports were that the occupants at 201 Elm Street escaped without injury. The house at 197 Elm, owned by retired NRPD Deputy Commissioner Anthony Murphy, was not occupied at the time.
Flames totally engulfed the second and third floor of the house at 201 Elm Street, sending flames shooting through the roof as the neighborhood for several blocks around was blanketed with a thick, sooty smog as smoke from the fire billowed out of the house.