MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Cleanup has begun in Mount Vernon after a Tuesday morning fire tore through a South Seventh Avenue home, leaving it uninhabitable.
Shortly before 9 a.m., residents of the three-story, multi-family home, reported the smell of smoke coming from the basement, where the fire originated. All five residents were safely and quickly evacuated, and two cats were rescued, according to officials.
The fire quickly spread, tearing through the basement to the upper floors, fire officials said. The roof and upper stories were completely destroyed, and flames could be seen tearing through the right side of the house, where it also damaged the garage.
“You could see the flames coming out from the basement, then there was smoke everywhere,” Orlando Gregory, a nearby neighbor, said. “It seemed like the firefighters were there and gone, just like that. They got it done fast.”
Firefighters fought the blaze from inside the home until the smoke and flames overwhelmed them, forcing them outside, said fire officials. The flames were under control within 90 minutes of the report. According to officials, only one injury was reported: a firefighter had to receive treatment after being bitten by one of the felines.
On Tuesday afternoon, crews from New York Fire and Water Restorations were on scene, attempting to salvage anything they could from the home, though one employee noted, “it’s pretty bad in there.”
According to officials, the residents will be unable to return to the home, as it was too badly damaged on the inside. Red Cross volunteers are working with all five residents to find them alternative housing and supplies.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.