NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A woman is dead and two others are hurt after a large fire ripped through a home in New Rochelle.
The fire broke out on Hamilton Avenue around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, starting on the first floor and working its way up the 100-year-old building.
The flames consumed the house for hours. At one point, firefighters had to step back and go into defensive mode to protect themselves from further harm, CBS2’s Esha Ray reported.
“The fire department did everything they could to make entry, there was just too much fire,” Fire Chief Joseph Reed said. “The men worked very hard to get in from every angle we possibly could.”
Family members said four people lived in the house.
Two men were able to escape from the third floor when the fire erupted — jumping out of a window and into a nearby tree, before jumping roughly 10 feet to the ground, officials said. The men and a firefighter were taken to Sound Shore Medical Center, where one was treated for minor burns to the hands and feet.
A third person wasn’t home at the time.
Offiicals say Loretta Wood, 55, was found dead in a bedroom on the second floor of the house. Police are still investigating a cause of death.
“Loretta was like an angel. She tried to keep everybody together,” cousin Donna Carter said. “She was special she helped everybody she did everything.”
Family members say the house has been in their family for close to 50 years.
“Well we’re doing the best that we can do right now considering the situation,” Carter said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials say the fire does not appear to be suspicious.