Mona Lisa fire victims say co-op board is dragging its feet in battle over their belongings

Some of those residents tell News 12 that they are now being barred from retrieving their personal items from the damaged dwellings. They're now concerned those belongings are in danger of being stolen.

Nadia Galindo and Bob Doda

May 22, 2023, 4:29 PM

Updated 424 days ago


Some Yonkers fire victims say they are living in a state of stress and anxiety because they are being barred from retrieving personal items from their co-op building.
The fire started at the six-story Mona Lisa co-op building around 1 a.m. on March 8 in a first-floor apartment. It quickly traveled up the building and through the roof.
More than 100 firefighters worked at the scene. It took about seven hours for them to get the fire under control. A 67-year-old man on the fourth floor died in the fire, and many other residents and first responders were injured.
Two months later, a group of residents are still asking to retrieve what’s left of their personal belongings.
"We have all of our memories there,” said one resident. “My parents – they passed away. Her pictures, the only one video I have – this is devastating for us."
They also say that they are concerned about burglars picking through their possessions.
News 12 was told by a spokesperson from the City of Yonkers who said residents are not being allowed back in the building due to dangers posed by asbestos. They would be willing to expedite an application to remediate it, but the co-op board has yet to file any paperwork.
News 12 reached out to the co-op board president and Metropolitan Property Services for more information but did not get a response back.
Residents are hoping for some answers at a co-op board meeting on Wednesday night.
An electric heating lamp being used to grow marijuana was determined to be the cause of the fire.

More from News 12