A five-alarm blaze burned through several stores in downtown Yonkers Thursday night and into Friday morning, nearly setting fire to an historic 18th-century church.
Over 65 firefighters responded to the fire, which started around 11:30 p.m. The fire burned for hours as firefighters struggled to contain it, according to Yonkers Fire Dept. Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick.
The fire was difficult to reach because it was in the rear of a building that is about 150-feet deep.
Several firefighters suffered minor injuries. No one else was reported injured.
A McDonald's and 99 cent store were damaged by the fire. Numerous other businesses were damaged by smoke and fire. The roof of one building appeared to be partially collapsed.
Nearby St. John's Episcopal Church, parts of which date back to the 1700s, managed to escape the flames, but did sustain smoke damage. Firefighters said that early on in the fire the church was in serious danger of getting burned.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.