Some 20 people escaped a roaring fire at a Hudson Valley home that was reportedly being used as an illegal rooming house, but a dog perished.
The fire started in Rockland County around 9:30 p.m., Sunday, in the village of Chestnut Ridge at 510 Chestnut Ridge Road.
When Spring Valley firefighters arrived on the scene numerous residents were in the home, but all were able to escape safely, except for the dog, said the Ramapo Police Department.
Rockland Fire and Emergency Services Coordinator Chris Kear said the home, which was destroyed, had as many as 19 to 21 people living at the residence, with some residing in the basement and others in the attic.
Kear added that there were numerous electrical code violations and that space heaters were being used throughout, but the home had no working smoke detectors.
"If the fire had started at 2 a.m., someone might have died," Kear said. "The fire started in a second-floor bedroom and the stairs to the attic burned completely through, making it impossible to get to the attic where two mattresses were located."
The house does not have a boarding house permit but is listed as a caretaker's home on the Ramapo Tax Assessor's rolls. It is owned by Mosdos D'Rabini.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Ramapo Police Investigations Division with the assistance of the Rockland County Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Kear said.
Fire Department units on scene included:
- South Spring Valley
- Spring Valley
This is a developing story. Check back to the Daily Voice for updates.
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