9 Firefighters Injured, 1 Seriously, Dozens Homeless as Blaze Destroys New Rochelle Apartment Building

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Fire was reported at 8:32 a.m.

New Rochelle Police and Fire started to receive multiple calls about fire coming out the windows of a 3 story apartment building early Saturday morning. The fire has now grown to 3 alarms Firemen and people who live in the building are injured. Fire as of 9.00 a.m. was still out of control.

UPDATE 9:41 AM: One New Rochelle firemen hurt at the scene and taken to hospital. This is a very smokey fire and can be seen as far as the Bronx. Fire is still out of control Yonkers and White Plains fire department are at the fire scene and fighting the fire.

UPDATE 10:15 AM: Fire is still not under control flames are still coming out the rear of the building. Fire departments from across the county are helping New Rochelle out at the fire and at local fire stations.

Fire Chief Lou DeMeglio said a total of 7 firefighters were injured, one seriously. Later 2 more firefighters were injured bringing the total to 9 making this one of the the worst fires in recent years.

Injuries included burns, strained back, smoke inhalation and possible concussions. Two firefighters were injured when the roof fell in and struck two firefighter, one sustaining burns on the back of his neck.

Fire Chief Lou DeMeglio said the fire may have been burning for sometime before being reported.

“It was a Saturday morning, a lot of people were probably sleeping in,” said DeMeglio

A resident informed firefighters that her husband was still inside the building in a second floor apartment.

Firefighters found the man in a bathroom in the apartment and took him outside and administered CPR. The man was then taken to Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle.

Two firefighters were trapped when the fire flashed.

They were pushed back towards a window as the fire flashed resulting in the most serious injury when one of the two reached for a balcony railing which gave way causing him to fall, heads over heels, down two stories, about 25 feet.

Initial reports were that he suffered numerous injuries including his arm, broken in two places and a broken pelvis.

The other was rescued when two teams of firefighters worked together — one spraying water to knock back the flames while another put a ladder into position.

All of the firefighters were taken to Montefiore.

The fire started in one apartment in the back of the building and go into the space between the ceiling and the roof. It then spread through that space across the other apartments and down into the building.

The building is divided into three sections – 470, 472 and 474 Pelham Road. The fire was prevented from spreading by firewalls between 470 and the other two sections of the building.

The Red Cross said 12 apartments were destroyed with another three dozen impacted.

Paul Vacca of the New Rochelle building department condemned 470 Pelham Road. The other two sections were uninhabitable, for now, because Con Ed turned off the gas and electric to the building.

City Manager Chuck Strome set up the Hugh Doyle Center as a Red Cross emergency shelter for residents impacted by the fire.

Jim Killorin of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester was working to provide clothes and household goods for victims of the fire.

The fire was the third serious fire in New Rochelle over the past week. Todays fire and ones at 247 Drake Avenue and 52 Drake Avenue all occurred within a few blocks of each other.

Firefighters plan to remain on the scene overnight.

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