YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A row of businesses in Yonkers was demolished by a raging fire on Tuesday morning.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon spoke to some of the impacted business owners.
As crews rushed to fight the vicious blaze, heavy and thick black smoke enveloped the air and everyone around.
“The flames were like bright red, like the sun. They were coming out through the windows. They were coming out of through the roof,” Mohamed Saleh said.
— Kiran Dhillon (@KiranDhillonTV) January 12, 2021
Saleh and his family own Tibbets Park Food Mart at the corner of Yonkers Avenue and Seminary Avenue. They were inside at around 6 a.m. with some customers when they smelled smoke and rushed out.
“The whole block was filled with smoke. You couldn’t even walk in front of you and see,” Saleh said.
A row of four attached businesses, including a laundromat and a dry cleaners, was completely demolished by the flames. A roof burned through and a rear wall collapsed in the process.
“I don’t understand. I’m confused and so very sad,” a hair salon owner said.
Fire crews were able to stop the flames from spreading to two businesses and a residence. But the owner of the hair salon said she doesn’t have insurance and worries the water damage will put her out of business.
“The pandemic closed my business and now the fire closed my business again. I don’t know,” she said.
One man CBS2 spoke to lives in the home attached to the main structure. He made it out fine, but feels for his neighbors.
“I feel so sorry for these people. They put their love, their life’s savings to invest and look at what happens,” Robert Reyes said.
The Yonkers Fire department said no one was injured in the fire. The cause remains under investigation.
Meanwhile, impacted business owners said they’re devastated by what happened.
“When you see your dream falling in a matter of seconds after you spent every hard-earned dollar and every job you worked to save up money to build your dream, it’s just a tragedy,” Saleh said.
They hope to rebuild, but worry that may not be possible.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.
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