Firefighters rescue trapped resident as flames destroy Peekskill condo building
A condo building in Peekskill was completely destroyed by fire overnight, leaving at least 20 people homeless.
Fire officials say the flames broke out just before 2 a.m. at Building No. 3 of the Hillcrest Park Condominiums on Rolling Way and has since become a two-alarm fire.
Peekskill Fire Chief Jim Seymour tells News 12 that crews found a building fully engulfed in flames. There were reports of people trapped inside, and firefighters pushed into the building and found a person on one of the upper floors. Everyone from the building has since been accounted for.
Seymour tells News 12 that the flames became too intense after the rescue, and firefighters were forced to move out of the building. He says the fire advanced into the attic and that the entire roof and some walls collapsed. The chief says 80 to 100 firefighters from all over the region fought the fire.
Battling the fire was a challenge since the water system for the complex was not sufficient to fight the flames. Extra tankers were brought in, and crews had to stretch over 1,000 feet of hoses across the Bear Mountain State Parkway to bring in additional water. Bear Mountain State Parkway was closed between Frost Lane and North Division Street because of hoses. It fully reopened around 8:30 a.m.
Building No. 3 and its 16 units are completely destroyed. They have already brought in excavators to demolish the building so firefighters can get to hot spots that continue to flare up.
"Everything I own is gone. Everything I own, everything I worked so hard for all my life, everything is gone," says resident Alice Anderson.
Seymour says one resident was taken to the hospital, but no firefighters were injured.
Alice Anderson lived on the first floor and is one of at least 20 people who lost their homes and everything inside. She says her upstairs neighbor banged on the door around 2 a.m. telling her the building was on fire. They rushed to help get neighbors and pets outside. Anderson says at least five cats died in the fire. "I literally watched it burn. The whole roof was on fire, and it just spread all the way over there."
Even still, Anderson says she still has much to be thankful for. "I'm safe, and my neighbors are safe and my puppy's safe, so start over...we'll start over."
Fire officials say they don't know the exact cause just yet, but they tell News 12 it does not appear suspicious.