May 30, 2023



YONKERS — About 70 people were displaced Tuesday night in separate fires that injured at least three residents and nine firefighters, who battled the blazes for hours in freezing conditions.

The first fire started on the top floor of 461 Riverdale Ave. about 6:45 p.m. Two men were in critical but stable condition after being rescued from the three-alarm blaze, officials said.

The two, who were semiconscious, suffered burns and smoke inhalation and were taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, officials said.

Assistant Fire Chief Chris Maher said crews rushed to bring the fire in the apartment under control before it could spread into the attic and compromise the entire building.

“It was key to get (firefighters) here as quickly as possible,” Maher said.

Residents alerted one another to the blaze, banging on neighbors’ doors.

The American Red Cross worked alongside the city’s Office of Emergency Management to assist those affected by the fire, said Red Cross spokeswoman Carolyn Sherwin.

About 50 people ranging in age from 3 months to 70 and older sought shelter at the Peter Chema Center at 435 Riverdale Ave., Sherwin said, adding that they would likely be allowed to return to their homes.

Lynn Van Adam, 59, lives with her husband on the seventh floor and said the man living in the apartment where the fire began has been problematic and unruly. She said a complaint was filed against him earlier Tuesday.

Firefighters later responded to a four-alarm blaze about 9:30 p.m. at 164 Beech St., rescuing eight people from the second and third stories of the multi-unit building.

“We seen people running in the street. All we heard was screaming, ‘Get out of the house! Get out of the house!’ ” said 12-year-old Jasmine Tirado, who lives on the third floor of a house behind the building where the fire broke out.

Her brother, Matthew Torres, 20, said he felt the ground shaking. “It was like a little explosion,” he said.

Yonkers Deputy Fire Chief John Darcy said the fire was active on every floor of the three story building when the department arrived.

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