NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Several New Rochelle families remained without a home on Tuesday, after a Monday night fire tore through their three-story, multifamily apartment building on Drake Avenue.
Shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Monday, fire spread rapidly through an air shaft from the basement to all three floors of the of the building. It took New Rochelle firefighters nearly six hours to extinguish the blaze, which could be seen billowing on the roof, while three other departments were on standby nearby. All three floors of the building were heavily damaged by the fire, and the roof eventually collapsed inward on itself. As of Tuesday, fire officials were undecided about whether or not the building could be salvaged, or would have to be demolished. There were no serious injuries reported.
“To be honest, we didn’t really know anything was going on, then we heard some of the commotion of the firefighters and the sirens and came over to investigate yesterday,” Val Wallace, 52, said while evaluating the damage on Tuesday. “It took them a long time to clear off, but other then when the flames poked out of the roof, it wasn’t too extreme. You hate to see something like this happen when it’s so cold, though.”
The American Red Cross assisted the five displaced families with their emergency needs, ensuring that each was safely sheltered with nearby friends and family. The residents will not know the fate of their home until inspectors determine whether it is irreparable.
The residents could not be reached for comment by Daily Voice on Tuesday.