Police in Mt. Vernon investigating whether a suspicious fire was drug related

A fire in Mount Vernon that ripped through three homes is being investigated as arson.

The three-alarm fire happened early Sunday on South First Avenue, just off East Sandford Boulevard. The fire quickly spread through three multi-family homes, destroying two of them. Nineteen residents are now without a place to live.

Mount Vernon Fire Chief Al Everett says nearly 20 people in the area have been questioned about a possible connection between the fire and a shooting that happened nearby. So far, residents say they heard gunshots and moments later heard a loud explosion before the fire started.

Arson investigators believe someone used a flammable liquid to ignite one of the three homes affected by the blaze. Sources close to the investigation told News 12 Westchester that the fire may have been a drug-related retaliation. But one resident, whose home was affected by the blaze, says there's no way the fire was drug related.

Meanwhile, those who cannot return to their homes are receiving help from the Red Cross, while others are staying with relatives.

Four firefighters and two people were injured in the blaze, but all have been released from the hospital.

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