One person was severely injured and remains in the hospital and another five received treatment including a firefighter during an intense fire that destroyed a dozen apartments and damaged several others in Rockland.
The fire began around 2:35 p.m., Sunday, April 14, at the Sierra Vista Apartments, Building 12, at 80 Sierra Vista Lane, in Valley Cottage, said Clarkstown Police Chief Raymond McCullagh.
Central Nyack firefighters headed up the team of more than a dozen fire departments that attacked the "extraordinarily large" fire that was located a football field away from the roadway, the fire department said.
When firefighters arrived on the scene they learned that one man who was found in front of the building had been taken to Westchester Medical Center in critical condition, his condition has since been upgraded to stable, said Clarkstown Police Spokesman Detective Peter Walker.
Of the five injured, two others were also hospitalized including a firefighter who was shocked during the overhaul of the building. He was evaluated at Nyack Hospital, the fire department said.
Clarkstown Town Supervisor George Hoehmann said the town's arson investigation team was also on the scene to determine the cause of the fire, in addition to the building inspectors. Power and water had been cut off to numerous units, with a total of 15 families being displaced. The Red Cross was on the scene to help displaced residents.
Officials on the scene said a woman alerted, and probably saved many from injury, by yelling "fire" repeatedly to make sure residents were safe. Firefighters rescued an elderly woman from the second floor. She was treated at the scene by paramedics and released. And another family reportedly climbed down from the second floor by a tied bedsheet.
The fire was brought under control by 5 p.m. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Departments assisting included Valley Cottage, Nyack, Blauvelt, Congers, West Nyack and Tappan, assisted Central Nyack. Spring Hill Ambulance Corp EMS also responded with Rockland Paramedic Services.
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