'Bad catastrophe.' Victims say they lost everything in Yonkers fire

Residents from the building have been brought a short distance to the Scotti Community Center and are being given blankets, food and other immediate necessities.

News 12 Staff

Mar 8, 2023, 5:42 PM

Updated 498 days ago

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The American Red Cross, Yonkers Office of Emergency Management and the Fuller Center for Housing of Greater New York City are working to assist the victims of this morning's fire at 671 Bronx River Road.
Residents from the building have been brought a short distance to the Scotti Community Center and are being given blankets, food and other immediate necessities.
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Many residents say they left with only the clothes on their backs, and now worry if anything they left behind will be salvageable.
Residents described a chaotic scene, waking up just after midnight this morning to smoke entering some of their apartments. One woman said she opened her front door and a cloud of smoke rushed in.
Residents began climbing down from their apartments through fire escapes. One man told News 12 he jumped out of his first floor apartment window to escape.
Others describe the scene as chaos. "I woke up this morning, had smoke coming into our apartment. None of the fire alarms went off in the building. It was a really bad catastrophe," says Peter Spano II. "I just lost everything. That's not something you want to wake up to. But first things first. I'm alive. I'm well and unscathed," says Crystal Walthall.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but there is a concern among residents about fire safety protocols and alarms. That, too, will likely be part of the Yonkers Fire Department's investigation.
Red Cross officials say they are opening an emergency shelter for fire victims at the Police Athletic League building on 127 North Broadway. They hope to have the facility open later this afternoon.


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