Officials: 3-alarm fire causes roof to collapse in Mount Vernon bike shop, 1 person killed
Fire officials say a man was killed in a fire that caused a roof to collapse at a Mount Vernon bike shop.
The fire broke out just after 9 p.m. Thursday at 27 Mount Vernon Ave.
The fire chief says the flames were hard to battle because the building was old. Fortunately, the fire did not spread to other buildings.
The owner of Bronx River Bicycle Works, Edward Mitchell, tells News 12 Edward Poplaski died in the fire. Poplaski was an employee who worked as an assembly technician.
"I made the 911 call," says Mitchell. "I could just get down the stairs and get out the front door and you could see fire throughout the whole building spreading really quickly."
Poplaski was an army sergeant veteran and a union electrician. Mitchell allowed him to stay in the building temporarily because he had nowhere else to go.
Mitchell is devastated at the loss of his business and his friend.
"My best friend," says Mitchell. "The sweetest guy. The nicest guy. A genius."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. There is also a criminal investigation underway because someone died.