YONKERS (CBSNewYork) — At least twenty families have been left homeless after an early morning fire ripped through an apartment building in Yonkers.
The flames broke out around just after 3 a.m. Saturday and took dozens of firefighters hours to bring under control on Nepperhan Avenue.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 1/20 Thursday Morning Forecast
All Adel Ordonez could hear was the fire alarm and cries for help from his neighbors.
“So I went over there, I took a look inside their entire wall was up in flames,” he told CBS2. “I told them ‘I can’t help you, you have to leave’.”
Ordonez banged on doors trying to help get everyone out of the four-story apartment building on Nepperhan Avenue as the fire spread to three-alarms. His focus then turned to his fiance, who is four-months pregnant.
“I knew I had to get her out of there fast,” he said.
Roughly 75 Yonkers firefighters arrived at the fast-moving blaze.READ MORE: Reaves, Fox Score 2 Each As Rangers Beat Maple Leafs
“We tried to make an interior attack, but there was too much heat, too much fire,” Assistant Fire Chief Edward Cucolo said. “We were forced out of the building, so we went to a defensive attack.”
Cucolo said all of the residents managed to self-evacuate before part of the roof collapsed. A firewall kept the flames from spreading to the other side of the building.
Three people were taken to Saint Joseph’s Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
“I feel a little scared and upset because I had important stuff and it’s really scary going through this,” 12-year-old Mya Capellan said, thankful that her family and dog Charlie made it out okay. “I’m happy we all made it out safe and I didn’t lose anybody that was important in my life.”
Mya’s family is among at least 50 people who will need to be relocated. Officials say the Westchester County Office of Emergency Management and American Red Cross will work to accommodate those who were displaced.
“Everyone’s really shaken up and we don’t know where we’re gonna stay tonight or tomorrow so that’s really our biggest worry,” Ordonez said.MORE NEWS: Nets Hold Off Wizards' Rally, Beat Washington
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials say it appears accidental.