A raging fire completely destroyed one home in Mount Vernon and spread to two more Sunday night, officials said.
No one was injured in the blaze, which firefighters responded to on S. Third Avenue around 10:45 p.m. It took firefighters nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.
All of the homes were fully engulfed in flames at one point, and the house where the fire started completely collapsed. At one point, flames were "coming out of all sides" of the building, officials said.
Video from the scene shows heavy black smoke rising out of one of the homes as crews work to extinguish bright flames pouring from the roof.
Residents of one home escaped unharmed, according to officials. The other two homes, including the one where the fire started, were vacant.
An investigation will focus on whether squatters were living in the vacant home where the fire began.
“It had fire coming out all four sides, so we really don’t know where it began in the house,” Mount Vernon Fire Chief Al-Farid Salahuddin said.
Neighbors described the vacant house as being in bad shape for a long time.
The American Red Cross responded and provided emergency assistance to seven adults.