1 dead in massive blaze at New York senior living facility, firefighter missing

Northeast

SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — One person was killed, two firefighters were injured and multiple residents were hospitalized after a massive blaze ripped through an assisted living facility in New York early Tuesday. Officials said a third firefighter was missing.

The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. at Evergreen Court Home for Adults in the Rockland County community of Spring Valley, NewsNation affiliate WPIX reported. The blaze, roughly 30 miles north of New York City, forced an evacuation and led to the partial collapse of the building, officials said.

Rockland County Fire coordinator Chris Kear said a resident was killed in the fire. The person’s name was not immediately released. The assisted living home had an estimated 100 to 125 residents, Kear said.

“This was a devastating loss,” Kear said at a news briefing.

Rescuers searched through rubble for a firefighter who issued a mayday call from the third floor, Kear said. Other firefighters rushed to try to help their colleague, but the flames were too intense. Another resident thought missing was later located unharmed. 

Two other firefighters were taken to hospitals. One was released, while the other was expected to stay overnight for treatment for smoke inhalation, Kear said.

“The extent of the fire, the volume of fire, the conditions, were just too unbearable where firefighters went in it, and they just could not locate the firefighter, and they had to back out,” he said at a later news conference.

Two other firefighters were taken to hospitals. One was released, while the other was expected to stay overnight for treatment for smoke inhalation, Kear said.

Officials believe about 20 residents were taken to hospitals, some with serious injuries, Kear said.

Other residents were taken by bus to another facility, state Trooper Steven Nevel said.

WPIX arrived on the scene just before 4 a.m. as flames were still seen shooting from the facility, which contains around 200 beds.

At one point, video showed the second floor collapsing as the fire burned. Kear said a whole portion of the building ultimately fell down.

At one point, multiple people were trapped inside the facility as the fire grew, according to crews on the scene.

About 125 firefighters from many agencies worked to get the fire under control.

Utilities cut power to the immediate area around the scene. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones said he was horrified to learn of the fire in his hometown of Spring Valley.  

“I am deeply saddened by the death of a resident of the Evergreen facility, and I am praying that the firefighter who bravely risked his life to save dozens of individuals trapped inside will be found safe and alive,” the first-term Democrat said in a statement.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WPIX contributed to this report.

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