Fire displaces 2 families in Haverstraw

Posted: Updated:

Two families were left homeless Friday morning after a fire gutted their house on Maple Avenue in Haverstraw.

Firefighters arrived at 119 Maple Ave. shortly after 8:30 a.m. About 15 or 20 minutes later, the flames were contained, leaving two apartments in shambles.

Fire officials determined the blaze started in the kitchen of the back unit. The tenant who lived there, Jamaal Daffin, apparently returned home from his night shift and started cooking, but then fell asleep. Fire officials say a smoke detector in the apartment did not alert Daffin because there were no batteries in it.

Haverstraw Assistant Fire Chief Patrick McNamee says some simple fire safety tips could have prevented the blaze.

"Change [the] battery of [a] smoke detector twice a year,? McNamee advises. ?Certainly around [the] holiday season may be best time."

No one was injured in the fire. The Red Cross is providing assistance to one of the displaced families. The other is staying nearby with relatives.

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