Man says he was nearly hit by construction equipment in wake of fire

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Days after a fire in Sleepy Hollow displaced more than 20 people, one man claims he was let back onto the property by a building inspector to retrieve some items and was almost hit by construction equipment.

As News 12 has reported, the flames broke out at a two-story rooming home on Barnhart Avenue in Sleepy Hollow on Thursday.

Richard Jackson is a 54-year-old security officer at NY Medical College who had been living at 7 Barnhart Ave. for 12 years. He says he was notified about the fire around 3:40 p.m. on Thursday. He says the side of the building where his apartment is located was not affected by the fire.

The Red Cross says 27 people were evacuated safely during the fire and were given temporary sleeping arrangements. Jackson says he returned the next day to find his apartment untouched, and claims he had permission to enter.

“I got permission from the building inspector for the village that I can go in and collect my belongings as long as I have a police officer with me,” said Jackson. “As I was standing at the doorway the building shook, and we heard a crash and I looked over my shoulder and a crane was coming through the ceiling.”

Jackson says he and a police officer ran out of the building. He says he was only able to grab three bags of clothing before the incident, but he's thankful to be alive.

News 12 reached out to Sleepy Hollow police and the building inspector but has not heard back yet.

Jackson said he hasn't been contacted by any officials following the incident, and no one has apologized.

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