A blaze allegedly started by a youth in his Yonkers home quickly engulfed the structure and an adjoining apartment building, impacting dozens of people and 14 homes, officials said.
Emergency calls started coming in shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday, and by the time firefighters arrived at the three-story wood frame home on Saratoga Avenue a few minutes later, it was impossible for them to enter, according to Yonkers Fire Department Deputy Chief John Flynn.
A 12-year-old who lived in the home was responsible for the blaze and was charged with second-degree arson after being taken into custody by Yonkers police, according to officials.
The flames had spread to all five floors of a brick apartment building next door, and had already compromised the stairway, making it difficult for residents to escape, Flynn said.
"A very aggressive interior attack was made by our members, and they removed numerous people from the building," he said.
There were no reported injuries, and residents of the home assured firefighters that everyone from that structure was accounted for, Flynn said.
The American Red Cross registered 35 people for assistance, including 17 children, the organization said. More than a dozen of them are staying at a shelter.