MT. VERNON, N.Y. (PIX11) -- Cups of water thrown on a growing fire were inadequate to douse the flames in what became a 3-alarm blaze in Mt. Vernon.
Deputy Fire Chief Al Everett told PIX11 News that a tenant tried to put out the fire in his apartment by throwing cups of water on it.
Initially it put out the fire in the window frame, but it flared up and burst upwards from the second to third floor and into the cockloft.
The tenant's attempt to put out the fire delayed the call to the fire department. When firefighters arrived the building was fully engulfed in flame.
37 firefighters from Mt Vernon, Yonkers and Pelham battled the fire for several hours.
Two tenants in the building got out safely. 16 families in an adjoining building were evacuated.
The Red Cross was providing for the displaced families in a nearby church. Damage to the fire building was so extensive, it may have to be knocked down.
Though not considered suspicious, fire marshals will investigate to determine the cause of the fire.