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Fire Breaks Out After Lightning Strikes Tennis Club In Westchester

Flames can be seen shooting out of the roof of a 100-year-old tennis and swimming club. Photo Credit: Yonkers Fire Department
Yonkers firefighters attack the flames during a two-alarm blaze. Photo Credit: Yonkers Fire Department

Torrential rain and severe lightning hampered firefighters as they worked a two-alarm fire Thursday at a popular tennis club.

The call came in around 4:30 p.m. Thursday for the fire at the Amackassin Club at 557 Palisade Ave. in Yonkers, said Yonkers Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick.

"A captain was nearby and within a minute he could see flames shooting out of the roof," Fitzpatrick.

Within two minutes, more than 40 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire that may have been started by a lightning strike to the chimney, he added.

"There was a large chunk of masonry knocked loose that was probably from a lightning hit," he said.

The chief said the club, which is more than 100 years old, received severe damage, especially on the second-floor bar area where fire heavily damaged the roof.

At one point, due to severe lightning right in the area and a hit right across the street, Capt. Brian Travers had to pull all of the firefighters off the job because it was too dangerous, he added.

There were "some injuries" to three or four firefighters, including sprains, etc., the chief said.

All were treated at the hospital and released.

Mutual aid from several area departments was called in before the fire was knocked down in the early evening.

The chief said the department had numerous calls due to the severe lightning and weather conditions.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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