Mount Kisco, NY – Firefighters spent more than 13 hours battling a three alarm fire that raced through a building at the Nitra Yeshiva Friday night, sending one fireman to the hospital and destroying a two story building in the Westchester yeshiva complex.
The Journal News reported that the fire broke out shortly before 6:30 PM. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but does not appear to be suspicious. It is unclear at this time if the building had working smoke detectors.
The fire is believed to have broken out on the first floor of the building, located in New Castle on Yeshiva Road. Multiple people called 911 to report the fire and firefighters returning to the scene this morning to douse hot spots located deep within the building, found themselves facing new fires that had reignited.
18 year old Ab Silber was one of several dozen in the building when the fire broke out.
“It was pretty freaky,” he said. “No one, thank G-d, was hurt.”
Approximately 100 firefighters from several fire companies responded to the fire.
By the time firefighters arrived on scene everyone had been evacuated from the building and both floors were ablaze.
Mount Kisco fire chief Al Bueti said that his men attempted to enter the building to battle the flames but because of the intensity of the fire, they had to exit the building. The roof of the building and an outer wall eventually collapsed and dark smoke could still be seen pouring from the wreckage this morning.
Bueti said that fighting fires at the remote property, located off a twisting, steep, wooded road has always been challenging. The nearest fire hydrants are located half a mile away and downhill from the yeshiva, with the lack of water proved to be a serious problem for firefighters, who used a series of hose lines and tanker trucks to shuttle water to those at the scene.
According to News 12 the building is believed to have housed classrooms for the yeshiva.