Yonkers residents displaced by fire in March furious over plans to retrieve belongings

Investigators said it was started by an electric heating lamp a first-floor resident was using to grow marijuana plants for personal use.

Jonathan Gordon

Apr 25, 2023, 9:14 PM

Updated 358 days ago

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Dozens of still-displaced residents of a massive four-alarm fire in Yonkers are raising serious concerns about the way they've been treated in the seven weeks since they lost everything.
Many gathered to discuss the next steps outside Burke's Restaurant & Bar on Tuesday just feet from where they used to call home at 671 Bronx River Road.
"They're not allowing them in. It's ridiculous. Totally unacceptable," said former tenant Joseph Perez.
Residents have not been allowed back inside the building since the March 8 fire because investigators found asbestos inside.
Metropolitan Property Services, which manages the building, sent a notice to tenants telling them they would send a person in a hazmat suit with a camera into each unit and give residents 10 minutes to guide that person to collect their belongings.
Residents called the plan "horrible."
"There's got to be a different way. This cannot be happening to us. I mean there's 95 families who lost everything," said former tenant Erika Kazmirzak.
Other residents have filed reports with police after pictures sent to them by the building's assessor revealed they were robbed in the weeks since the fire.
Twenty-two-year tenant Keith Marcus, who runs an online memorabilia business, said he lost tens of thousands.
"Everything was looted. It looks like a train wreck going through my apartment," said former tenant Keith Marcus.
News 12 reached out to Yonkers police for comment but haven't heard back.
Residents believe management is cutting corners in order to quickly and cheaply reopen the building.
News 12 reached out to Metropolitan Property Services for comment but haven't heard back.
One man was killed and dozens were injured during the massive overnight fire that destroyed huge chunks of this seven-story, 95-unit rental and co-op building on Bronx River Road.
Officials said the roof collapsed and the building sustained extensive fire and water damage.
Investigators said it was started around 1 a.m. by an electric heating lamp a first-floor resident was using to grow marijuana plants for personal use.
A spokesperson for Yonkers said it and the fire department turned the building over to residents weeks ago. The city is now in a waiting period until management decides what to do with the building.


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