An investigation is underway into the cause of a fire that devastated several homes in the Bronx—as the city determines if the houses are structurally sound. NY1's Polly Kreisman filed the following report.
Nearly 20 people are out of their homes—four families and a boarder—after a fire ripped through a quiet street of tidy houses and lawns in the Wakefield section of the Bronx.
The fire department says the blaze began in the rear of 4523 Hill Avenue.
The four alarm fire quickly hopped to the house next door.
"It was very shock to me. I was very nervous and I was just scared because I was worried about if there was anybody inside the house," one area resident said.
Everyone inside the three houses involved—two of which are destroyed—was safely evacuated, but it means starting over for people like Ajay Sanicharra, who lived in the white house his whole life.
"My dad called and said 'The house is on fire,' so we turned back and got here. And everything's gone now... That's the main thing—everyone is ok," said Sanicharra.
Eleven firefighters and two bystanders were injured.
"Considering the amount of fire on my arrival and the weather this is a low number. They really did a lot of work," said EMS Division Chief Roberto Colon.
Now, it's the Red Cross that is continuing to come to the rescue as it finds temporary housing for the effected residents. Workers are also there to help them get their lives back in order.
"Immediate needs, so that's shelter, food, clothing. Those are things that are needed immediately after a fire," said Anastasia Hannah of the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross is taking the opportunity to remind New Yorkers about the importance of having an emergency kit, a plan and renters insurance.