16 homes destroyed in massive condominium building fire in Westchester County

Nearly 100 firefighters responded to the scene.

WABC logo
Thursday, January 5, 2023
Massive fire destroys condo as low water pressure hinders firefighters
A massive fire destroyed a condominium building in Peekskill, Westchester County early Thursday. Marcus Solis has the story.

PEEKSKILL, Westchester County (WABC) -- A massive fire destroyed a condominium building in Westchester County early Thursday.

Flames broke out just before 2 a.m. inside one of the buildings at the Hillcrest Park Condominiums complex in Peekskill.

"I heard a big bang at the door and I got up and there was smoke all over the place. When I opened up the door there was a fireman," Valerie Pawlows said.

Firefighters rescued another resident who was trapped on the second floor of the two-story building.

The fire started in an apartment on the top floor and spread quickly via the roof.

"Heavy, heavy fire in the fire apartment and it was already in the cockloft, in that attic area upon arrival," Peekskill Fire Chief James Seymour said.

Fire officials say low water pressure in the cul-de-sac forced them to run 1,500 feet of hose across four lanes of the Bear Mount Parkway in order to connect to a hydrant with better pressure.

But the intensity of the fire caused part of the roof to collapse. The rest of the structure was knocked down.

"With the amount of devastation, obviously, it's shocking, but thankfully everybody did get out, that's the main concern and they have been tended to which is great. But it was a significant loss," property manager Robert Ferrara said.

Hillcrest Park consists of over a dozen separate buildings, each with 16 units. Building number 3 is now reduced to pile of rubble.

The red cross is helping residents, who have lost all their possessions, some losing their pets as well.

"We're all wonderful people, we really took care of our homes, all nice working people in a very safe area here. I loved it," Linda Gadaleta said.

Investigators were working to pinpoint what sparked the fire.

ALSO READ | Stolen car falls onto New Jersey home on New Year's Day

Police got a call on New Year's day that a stolen car drove off an embankment and fell into a house below. CeFaan Kim has more.


* More Northern Suburbs news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.