- Click here for a new, updated story: Fatal Rockland Fire: One Resident Found Safe, Firefighter Still Unaccounted For, Officials Say
One firefighter is missing and presumed dead, another person died and at least 20 residents are hospitalized following a massive fire at a senior living facility in the Hudson Valley that also killed a resident.
The blaze broke out around 1 a.m., Tuesday, March 23, in the Rockland County at the Evergreen Court Adult Home in Spring Valley.
The missing firefighter, from the Spring Valley Fire Department, was rescuing residents from the home that houses up to 133 residents when he called a MayDay, said Rockland County Fire Coordinator Chris Kear.
A section of the building then collapsed, trapping the firefighter, Kear said. Officials are not sure if any residents were also trapped in the inferno that consumed the older building.
Some 20 to 30 residents were taken to another nearby nursing home, while another 20 were hospitalized, some with serious injuries, he added.
The fire was still smoldering Tuesday morning, with officials waiting for the fire to be completely out before a search for the firefighter and other residents begins, Kear said.
Officials are working with the owner of the building attempting to get the correct number of residents who were inside the building at the time of the fire.
When firefighters arrived on the scene within four minutes of the first call they found flames lapping out of the windows and consuming the structure, Kear said.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said it was a "great day of pain," following the presumed death of the firefighter and the confirmed death of the resident. Neither of the victims have been identified.
"Many, many firefighters risked their lives to save the residents," he added.
All of Rockland County's 26 fire departments are volunteers, with Spring Valley being the most experienced, Kear said.
"This is a say day," Kear said. "There were many heroic actions."
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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