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500 evacuated in NY fire

200 were left homeless following deadly 5-alarm fire in Yonkers.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | YONKERS, NY | March 14, 2003

Two people were killed and three others critically injured early Friday morning when a five-alarm fire torched a residential neighborhood here, forcing the evacuation of nearly 500 people.

The fire, which began about 1 a.m. Friday, was extinguished by 8 a.m., although firefighters worked into the afternoon to put out small pockets of flame buried under the rubble, said Chief Chris Cannon of the Yonkers Fire Department.

Six multi-family homes were destroyed, and several others damaged, Cannon said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The American Red Cross set up an emergency care station at Public School 18, about six blocks away from the devastation, said Peter Cann director of emergency services for the Red Cross of Westchester County.

Cann said about 200 people were left homeless by the blaze. He expected that about 100 would seek housing assistance over the weekend. While the Red Cross was not setting up a shelter, Cann said those left homeless would be put up in local motels. About 300 people who were evacuated in the early morning were expected to be allowed back in their homes by Friday night.

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