The fire broke out at about 4:00 a.m. on the third floor of the complex at 250 Mamaroneck Avenue, and the floor became fully engulfed in flames.
The YMCA residents who have been displaced by the fire still anxiously wait across the street from the center. The center still remains a crime scene, what police say is a murder-suicide.
"I heard all the screaming, saw the smoke, felt the heat?it was a sad situation," said Octavious Wallace.
Wallace and others were trying to escape the YMCA after an explosion and a fire shattered the still of the night.
"You could hear the screaming through the whole building," Wallace adds.
As residents began escaping the upper floors, they passed what they said was a horrible scene on the first floor.
"The guy at the desk was on the floor," said Warren Patience.
Patience noticed that the man was in a pool of blood. Police say it was a murder suicide.
"We have two victims at this time. One that was found downstairs, and a victim that was found in one of the rooms," said Public Safety Commissioner David Chong.
"The guy that lived in the room had killed the guy behind the desk, went back to the room," said Patience, "They said he possibly had some kind of device, it blew up ? we think he took his own life.
The fire was confined to just two of the rooms on the third floors of the building, which houses about 110 residents. The Red Cross is assisting about half of them. If needed, housing will be provided to those who were affected.
The biggest mystery of all is a motive. There is no word yet on how the fire started.