ELMSFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 2-year-old boy was killed Saturday night in a fast-moving fire that destroyed the roof and top floor of an Elmsford home, officials said.
The boy and his mother were visiting from Barbados when the fire erupted in the two-story home around 10 p.m. Saturday, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, the ferocious flames engulfed the two-story colonial and left the entire upper levels of the home consumed.
The boy’s body was recovered around noon Sunday in the attic of the Westchester County house, fire officials said.
Neighbors watched as the family inside – including the elderly owner – was rushed out of the house on Sears Avenue. But it soon became clear the toddler was not with them.
“No one knew where the baby was at,” said neighbor Craig Brown.
Firefighters got to the scene shortly thereafter, but with such thick smoke, crews could not find the child.
“There was heavy fire out the second-floor window and the ridge vent of the attic,” Stephen Woehrle, assistant chief of the Elmsford Fire Department, said Sunday. “Crews did make an attempt to enter the second floor and search for the victim to no avail.”
Jody Williams lives across the street and is a Tarrytown firefighter. He joined the effort to try to find the boy.
“Second floor, we found there was a crib. There was nothing in crib. The baby was actually up in the attic,” Williams told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “We started to break the window, started to make entry but by the time we got here, it was already going real good. We went through the roof and they sounded alarms for us to get pulled out because the roof collapsed.”
After hours of searching in the daylight, they located the toddler in the attic.
“It’s a tragedy, and the guys that are still on the scene since last night are very well shaken about this,” Woehrle added.
Neighbors said the baby’s mother had tried to save him.
“Mothers reach out as far as they can for their children,” one neighbor said. “You just have to pray for the family. Things happen, but you have to live through them.”
The mother suffered second-degree burns to her arms, and three other adults were injured, The Town of Greenburgh reported. They were taken to Westchester County Medical Center, officials said.
“We’re standing outside, and next thing I know, we looked up, and we smelled smoke,” neighbor James Rhodes CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell. “And then we looked on top of his house, and the roof was burning.”
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said in an announcement Sunday that he will contact the owners of the house and offer help in the days, months, and years to come. He asked anyone with time to help the families to contact the Town of Greenburgh.
“You can’t get back a life, but we’re just trying to help them out,” Williams told Adams.
Fire officials were still investigating Sunday.
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