Weak water pressure was a major factor in the difficulty firefighters faced in putting out a raging fire at an apartment complex in Westchester County Thursday, officials said.
Police said the fire erupted at the Hudson View Estates Apartments in Peekskill shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday. Because the apartments were at a high elevation and there wasn't enough water pressure, firefighters were forced to weave 3,000 feet of hose down a hill to a lower hydrant. Then the water main broke.
"Right after they started pumping water up here, it blew," said Peekskill Fire Department Deputy Chief John Pappas.
By the time a third fully working hydrant was found, the building was a total loss.
"Everything is gone," said Tyrell Carver, who lived in the complex with his fiance and two children. "All our personals and everything. We have to build from the ground up again."
Fire officials said 25 people were in the 16-unit building at the time. They all made it out safely. While no human was injured, several cats and a dog were killed, officials said.
The water main has been repaired, but a boil water advisory is in effect for Garfield Street, Pemart Avenue, Catherine Street, Lakeview Drive and Marion Avenue for at least the next two days.
Red Cross disaster responders were assisting residents who may be displaced by the fire.