Police: Newburgh fire ignited by lit cigarette
Police say a lit cigarette caused a fire that left several families homeless for the holidays.
Fire officials say the flames sparked at 1:30 a.m. in a two-story house on William Street in Newburgh and then spread to two other attached homes. Newburgh police say that someone inside the building fell asleep with a lit cigarette.
Crews tell News 12 that people were still inside sleeping when firefighters got there, but they were able to get everyone out safely. "There were four families inside two buildings when firefighters arrived. They all safely evacuated. Crews searched for one person they couldn't find, but [it] turns out he'd gotten out before the fire department got there," says Newburgh Assistant Fire Chief Terry Ahlers.
Hours later, the residents returned to the scene to claim what was left of their things.
The Red Cross is helping some of the people who were living there and others are staying with family.