Victim identified in deadly New Rochelle apartment fire
A fire broke out this morning at a six-floor apartment building at 590 Fifth Ave. in New Rochelle, killing one person.
New Rochelle Fire Chief Andrew Sandor reports that the fire department received the call around 3:15 a.m. Upon arrival, firefighters located the source of the fire on the third floor.
Upon finding the source of the fire, firefighters discovered the apartment’s lone tenant, 45-year-old Damian Peart, unconscious. Crews brought him into the hallway, began CPR, and transported him downstairs to an ambulance waiting at the front door. He was transported to Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital and pronounced deceased.
"I heard that somebody had already lost their life down below. And then I found out who it was. It was sad. He was the neighborhood character. Everybody knew him. Everybody knew him," says resident Robin Yvonne.
Sandor confirmed that the fire was contained to a single apartment and was extinguished within 20 minutes. He noted that the building's construction of concrete and steel prevented the fire from spreading easily, although the presence of smoke posed significant hazards.
Residents from the third floor were evacuated as a precautionary measure but have since been allowed to return to their units. No firefighters sustained injuries during the operation.
Sandor says the cause does not appear to be suspicious and that investigators could not rule out smoking or an electrical issue within the apartment.
Interview with New Rochelle Fire Chief Andrew Sandor