Condo residents return to homes to salvage belongings after fire

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VALLEY COTTAGE -

Residents affected by a fire that destroyed more than a dozen condos at a complex in Rockland County returned Tuesday to try to salvage their belongings.

Don Scheulen says he called the Mountain View Condos in Valley Cottage his home for 15 years.

Scheulen is now living out of a hotel after the devastating fire tore through his condo complex two weeks ago and destroyed 16 apartments. He returned to his home Tuesday to see if any of his possessions could be salvaged.

MORE: Valley Cottage apartment complex fire leaves 16 families homeless 

There is no word yet on what caused the fast-moving fire, but it took 11 fire departments more than two hours to put it out.

Many longtime residents counted their blessings that they made it out alive.

Officials say there's so much damage to the building that it will have to be torn down. They say it could be at least a year before residents are able to move back in.

Clarkstown officials and the United Way of Rockland are working to lend a helping hand. They announced Tuesday that the county's disaster relief fund is raising money for the victims and that 100% of the funds will go to the displaced homeowners.

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