A fire in the Glenville district of Tarrytown kept the Tarrytown Fire Department and other first responders busy for hours late into the night.
Emergency workers from Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Ossining, Elmsford, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington all came to the scene.
"We had a heavy job because of the size of [the building]," said second assistant chief Eugene Gasparre, describing a multiple-story building in the Halston House complex on 410 Benedict Avenue. The call came around 10:55 p.m. and the scene was cleared at 2:30 a.m. Though the fire was contained to the second floor apartment where it started, everyone in the building had to be evacuated because of "heavy smoke throughout."
"Being that it was a big building with a lot of elderly people, we called for a lot of help to help evacuate," Tarrytown Fire Chief John McGee said, adding exhaust fans were brought in to clear smoke as the buildings were searched for any people left behind, though many residents were able to stay on their balconies.
One older woman, who was trying to put the fire out in her apartment, suffered first and second degree burns and was transported to ; two elderly women with heart conditions were also brought in for observation.
As far as Greenburgh Police Department, whose jurisdiction the fire was under, is concerned, the cause of the fire "was a non-issue," said the dispatcher on the phone this morning. "It was evidently from food on the stove; we have no interest in pursuing it any further."
Caroline Sherwin of the Red Cross said initially it was believed many more people would be affected but after the fire and smoke was clear all the residents except the one group immediately affected were able to return to their homes. The first floor apartment below was also soaked from the operation.
The family on the second floor consists of a husband, wife and an extended family member, one of whom was injured. Volunteers on the scene were working with them on the scene, said Sherwin. The family did have insurance and a place to stay in Rockland County and many friends around the village. "We are doing follow up work with them, helping them navigate their recovery plans," Sherwin said.
Sherwin described bad damage to this one particular apartment, saying "They won't be back for a while." She also praised everyone in the building for "really helping each other out."
One volunteer firefigher from Rye blogged throughout the course of the response, giving a real sense of all the effort required to ensure everyone's safety in this extensive timeline. You can read his version of the events here in which he reported that an ambulance was also requested for an injured firefighter.
Tarrytown Fire Chief John McGee couldn't corrobate this report, saying there were no firefighters injured at the scene.
"It was a good aggressive attack by our men," McGee said, "they knocked the fire down in 15 minutes."