A teenager managed to escape a fire that killed he rest of his family at their home in Mount Vernon. Rob Schmitt reports.
A teenager managed to escape a fire that killed his parents and older brother and sister at their home in Westchester County early Tuesday, officials said.
Firefighters tried to get to the victims through an interior stairwell in the multi-family home on South Bond Street in Mount Vernon, but the door was bolted, officials said.
When they broke through the door, they found one victim in the stairwell and the other three in the basement.
"There was fire all around, fire out the rear, every entrance into the basement was covered with flames," Mount Vernon Deputy Fire Chief John Battista said. "My guys ... they got close, they just couldn't get the victims out."
A relative identified the dead as Alcedo Urena, in his 50s, his wife Nancy, 39, and their children, Jesus, 21, and Mariselis, 18.
The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. and was under control about four hours later. Three firefighters were hurt battling the blaze.
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis said the fire commissioner told him a car parked at the back of the house caught fire and ignited the building. Authorities did not know why the car caught fire, he said.
One of the injured firefighters was taken to Jacobi Hospital with burns, Battista said. The extent of the others' injuries wasn't known.
The house, on a residential street of the city just north of the Bronx, sustained heavy damage up to the top floor. The back of the house was blackened, and the windows and doors were gone.
Three families lived in the house, each occupying one floor, said Abigail Adams, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, which was assisting the families that lived on the top floors: two adults with one child and two adults with two children.
Battista said fire alarms were found on the ground in front of the building, but it was too early to tell if they had been working at the time of the fire.