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Firefighters battle wind-whipped blaze in Westchester

February 15, 2011 3:06:47 AM PST
Several firefighters were injured while battling a major fire that scorched an apartment building in Westchester Tuesday morning.

It took fire crews hours to finally get control out the flames.

The third-alarm blaze blaze broke out in Mount Vernon just after midnight. Eighteen people managed to get out safely, and no serious injuries were reported.

Firefighters from the Bronx aided in the battle. Six firefighters were taken to Jacobi Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation.

The building, which houses a store on the ground floor and apartments above, was heavily damaged.

The weather played a factor in this case, as the wind threatened to spread the flames, while the water from the hoses formed a dangerous layer of ice on the ground.

"Very dangerous conditions, with the high winds, a lot of fire blowing down," Mount Vernon Fire Chief Tom Duffy said. "Lot of guys from FDNY did a fantastic job, and our guys, just maintaining where it is."

The firefighters did an outstanding job preventing the spread to neighboring buildings. The 18 displaced residents were being aided by the Red Cross.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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