Residents furious after being displaced from Yonkers apartment building

YONKERS, New York (WABC) -- Yonkers residents are furious after they were forced to evacuate their high-rise apartment building on Thursday following a four-alarm fire the previous night.

Residents say they were notified via pink fliers that they would need to evacuate their building on Glenwood Avenue by 8 p.m. Thursday.

Many residents found out about the evacuation order as they returned home from work, and management was nowhere to be found.

"Are you kidding me?! Like how you do people like that? What are we dogs?! What are we dogs?! We are working people," resident Edward McCoy said.

When they attempted to contact building management, they say there was no answer. The office closed at 4 p.m.

The evacuation comes after a four-alarm fire on Wednesday that injured five people and five firefighters and left the parts of the building condemned.

A Yonkers official says the upper floors were being condemned due to no heat, no lighting and no hot water.

Yonkers Fire Deputy Chief of Personnel Joseph Citrone says the letter to evacuate only affects floors 10 to 27.

Residents say they hadn't been offered any help in relocating and that the Red Cross can't provide any further assistance after helping 38 families on Wednesday.

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In addition, these residents have no idea if their rent payments will be reimbursed.

Jane Thomas, 88, who packed just one bag and her medication, had to walk down 22 flights of stairs because elevators were down.

"We have elderly people. We have pregnant young ladies. Management has not been here to speak to anyone," resident Monique Jones said.

Other residents didn't want to vacate the building because their doors were kicked in by firefighters, and they can't lock before leaving to sleep elsewhere.

However the was some resolution Thursday. The Police Athletic League (PAL) stepped up and offered residents a chance to sleep in an auditorium.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says because of COVID, if they space residents out, they'll be able to fit about a hundred people inside.

The city is also offering five or six senior centers that have been closed, as additional shelters.

"That's unacceptable. The management company needs to be available and they need to be available 24 hours a day in case something like this happens," Spano said.

The mayor also issued a new directive. He says residents without electricity can now stay.

Power isn't expected to be restored for about a week.

Mayor Spano says the city will work with management to ensure work is completed as soon as possible.

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