Causes Undetermined In Yonkers Fires

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This fire in a multifamily home at 164 Beech St., Yonkers, was probably accidental, fire officials said. Photo Credit: Contributed by David Dronzek

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Causes of  two Yonkers fires on Tuesday night that injured two civilians and displaced 20 people have not been determined -- though one is very likely to be suspicious, a Fire Department official said.

A three-alarm fire, which occurred at 6:50 p.m. on the seventh floor of a multi-story apartment building at 461 Riverdale Ave; and injured two, is highly likely to have been intentionally set, according to Assistant Fire Chief John Flynn.

"We're leaning in that direction. It's likely to be intentionally set, but the investigation is still open and the Police Department is still looking into it," he said. 

A four-alarm fire at 164 Beech St., which began at 9:30 p.m. and destroyed a three-story multifamily home, displacing 20, is likely to be accidental, said Flynn.

Fire officials may have identified a possible accidental cause, he said, but will not be releasing any further information until the investigation is closed.

Fire officials have traced the origin of the fire to the first floor in the rear of the house, on or near a mattress.

"We don't have any reason to believe it was intentionally set," said Flynn.

Carolyn Sherwin, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said case agents did meet with all of the displaced people, and that they are in recovery.

"They are connected 24/7 with community agencies," she said.

According to Sherwin, the families are in the process of actively seeking new places to live or they are with friends and family.

"The cooperation between the City of Yonkers and our whole team has been great," she said. 

She added that one of the families came to the Red Cross immediately on Wednesday morning, where they received all needed funds for clothing and personal items.

They also received referrals, lots of blankets, comfort kits and emotional support.

Mutual aid  in battling the fires was provided by Hartsdale, New Rochelle, Eastchester, Mount Vernon and Fairview.

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