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Yonkers Contractor Accused Of Setting Building On Fire, Police Say

Declan McElhatton of Yonkers was charged with felony arson. Photo Credit: NYFD
A drone captured a five-alarm fire allegedly started by a Yonkers contractor. Photo Credit: NYFD/Twitter/Drone Shot

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A contractor from Westchester was charged with felony arson Wednesday after allegedly starting a fire on the roof of a Queens building on Tuesday that turned into a five-alarm blaze injuring 11 firefighters, according to the NYPD.

Declan McElhatton, 52, of Yonkers was arrested Wednesday after using a torch near combustibles to start the fire on the roof of a seven-story building at 56-11 94th St., said NYPD officials.

McElhatton, a contractor with the Yonkers-based Maintenance Asset Management, allegedly started the fire around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The intense fire, which damaged or destroyed more than 100 apartments, displacing 175 residents and injured 11 firefighters, caused a partial roof collapse, officials said.

NYFD officials said on Twitter that the department's new drone helped firefighters fight the fire by providing an overhead view. It took firefighters more than four hours to get the fire under control.

The Red Cross is was helping 144 adults and 31 children left homeless by the fire.

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