Mount Vernon leaders ramp up task force after suspicious fire
Mount Vernon officials say they are ramping up the city's quality of life task force after a suspicious fire Saturday evening.
Investigators say that arson may have been the cause of the fire at 19 and 21 South Terrace Ave. It engulfed two apartment buildings and displaced nearly 40 people.
Fire officials found a gas tank at the bottom of the charred apartment building where the fire started, which led them to suspect arson.
Mayor Richard Thomas says the city is working on gaining permits to quickly raze the two homes that were damaged by the fire.
"There's no way I'm going to let this stand, it happened under my watch," he says. "It's going to be tough to get equipment up there to knock them down, but we have to."
The Red Cross is taking care of the displaced families.