YONKERS, NY — Nearly 150 families were displaced by a huge blaze at a Yonkers apartment building Tuesday night.
The fire, which started at about 6:15 p.m., raged for hours at 15 Parkview Ave. as firefighters tried to get it under control.
Scores of residents were quickly and safely evacuated. The view captured by AIR11 flames engulfing the upper floors and shooting toward the sky. Thick, acrid smoke permeated the air for blocks near the building.
"It was just get out of the building," said resident Toni Richardson, who had been displaced. "The building is on fire."
The fire started in the west side of the building, but since firefighters didn't have access to the cockloft area, the fire quickly spread to the east side.
Officials say there were no access points for water, making it hard to contain.
Firefighters from several nearby towns sped to the scene to help battle the blaze. At one point the fire was so intense that firefighters were pulled out of the building to battle the flames from the outside.
Firefighters still continued to hit hot spots that flared up overnight. As to what started the fire, investigators are still trying to figure out.
"There are some unconfirmed reports that some handiwork going on in one of the apartments... maybe some plumbers torching," Yonkers Fire Commissioner Robert Sweeney said.
No injuries have been reported. Anyone without a place to stay can go to Roosevelt High School on Tuckaho Road where the Red Cross has set up shelter.
The fire department is still assessing when people can go back into their homes to recover their belongings. Meanwhile, the sixth floor will remain completely uninhabitable.
"They said nobody can get into the place," Richardson said. "It's not safe."
A helpline has been set up at 914-377-4357.