Hundreds force to flee fire at Yonkers apartment complex

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Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate their homes after a fire in a Yonkers apartment building Wednesday night

Fire officials say 250 units had to be cleared after flames broke out at the 19-story Westchester Towers building at 1841 Central Park Ave. around 6:15 p.m.

Officials say the fire started in the electrical room and moved to the floor above. Despite the size of the building, strong gusts of wind, and pouring rain last night, about 50 Yonkers firefighters were able to work quickly to keep the fire contained.

There was extensive damage to the electrical room.

There was light smoke damage to the first floor but no fire damage to the floors above the electrical room.

No one was injured.

Con Edison shut down power to the building in order to conduct a full evaluation.

Power is now returning to the building, thanks to three generators.  One will be used to power elevators, heating and hallway lights. The others will power apartment units.

"So people really won't have an issue once the generators are running, they really won't notice anything, maybe temporary outages while the electricians are working," says David Amster, of Wester Towers Management.

Management says the fire burned the main electrical panel to the building, causing the power outage.  It could take a couple of months to replace the main electrical panel, according to management, which is why the generators will be the source of power there for some time.

The Red Cross is working with the Office of Emergency Management to help residents.

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