Yonkers residents displaced by fire in March furious over plans to retrieve belongings

Investigators said it was started by an electric heating lamp a first-floor resident was using to grow marijuana plants for personal use.

Jonathan Gordon

Apr 25, 2023, 9:14 PM

Updated 396 days ago

Share:

Dozens of still-displaced residents of a massive four-alarm fire in Yonkers are raising serious concerns about the way they've been treated in the seven weeks since they lost everything.
Many gathered to discuss the next steps outside Burke's Restaurant & Bar on Tuesday just feet from where they used to call home at 671 Bronx River Road.
"They're not allowing them in. It's ridiculous. Totally unacceptable," said former tenant Joseph Perez.
Residents have not been allowed back inside the building since the March 8 fire because investigators found asbestos inside.
Metropolitan Property Services, which manages the building, sent a notice to tenants telling them they would send a person in a hazmat suit with a camera into each unit and give residents 10 minutes to guide that person to collect their belongings.
Residents called the plan "horrible."
"There's got to be a different way. This cannot be happening to us. I mean there's 95 families who lost everything," said former tenant Erika Kazmirzak.
Other residents have filed reports with police after pictures sent to them by the building's assessor revealed they were robbed in the weeks since the fire.
Twenty-two-year tenant Keith Marcus, who runs an online memorabilia business, said he lost tens of thousands.
"Everything was looted. It looks like a train wreck going through my apartment," said former tenant Keith Marcus.
News 12 reached out to Yonkers police for comment but haven't heard back.
Residents believe management is cutting corners in order to quickly and cheaply reopen the building.
News 12 reached out to Metropolitan Property Services for comment but haven't heard back.
One man was killed and dozens were injured during the massive overnight fire that destroyed huge chunks of this seven-story, 95-unit rental and co-op building on Bronx River Road.
Officials said the roof collapsed and the building sustained extensive fire and water damage.
Investigators said it was started around 1 a.m. by an electric heating lamp a first-floor resident was using to grow marijuana plants for personal use.
A spokesperson for Yonkers said it and the fire department turned the building over to residents weeks ago. The city is now in a waiting period until management decides what to do with the building.


More from News 12
0:39
State police: NYPD officer from Putnam Valley killed in Campbell Hall crash

State police: NYPD officer from Putnam Valley killed in Campbell Hall crash

2:09
Pleasant conditions continue Sunday in the Hudson Valley; storms move in on Memorial Day

Pleasant conditions continue Sunday in the Hudson Valley; storms move in on Memorial Day

1:37
President Biden delivers West Point commencement address

President Biden delivers West Point commencement address

1:43
Downtown Summer Sizzle Concert Series returns to New Rochelle

Downtown Summer Sizzle Concert Series returns to New Rochelle

1:54
African American history celebrated at Pinkster Festival in Sleepy Hollow

African American history celebrated at Pinkster Festival in Sleepy Hollow

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in the Hudson Valley

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in the Hudson Valley

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

0:47
Bake Back America volunteer from Scarsdale has art displayed at Adelphi University

Bake Back America volunteer from Scarsdale has art displayed at Adelphi University

1:39
Monsey family business targeted again over Israeli flag

Monsey family business targeted again over Israeli flag

1:39
Caribbean foods and culture highlighted at International Food Festival in Mount Vernon

Caribbean foods and culture highlighted at International Food Festival in Mount Vernon

0:34
Orangetown police: Man sought for approaching boy at Pearl River home

Orangetown police: Man sought for approaching boy at Pearl River home

0:33
Hudson Link's free weekend shuttle bus service for Cuomo Bridge bike path resumes this weekend

Hudson Link's free weekend shuttle bus service for Cuomo Bridge bike path resumes this weekend

0:28
Newburgh man sentenced to eight years behind bars for shooting

Newburgh man sentenced to eight years behind bars for shooting

0:27
FBI: 6 Chilean nationals charged in connection to tri-state area burglaries

FBI: 6 Chilean nationals charged in connection to tri-state area burglaries

1:28
Heavy holiday weekend travel begins in New York

Heavy holiday weekend travel begins in New York

2:22
Memorial Day ceremony in Katonah honors fallen service members

Memorial Day ceremony in Katonah honors fallen service members

1:21
Crews prep Westchester County beaches ahead of opening weekend

Crews prep Westchester County beaches ahead of opening weekend

0:48
Mount Vernon Mayor Patterson-Howard says she's back at work on hybrid basis following health incident

Mount Vernon Mayor Patterson-Howard says she's back at work on hybrid basis following health incident

1:45
Dozens attend a Memorial Day ceremony in Rockland on Friday

Dozens attend a Memorial Day ceremony in Rockland on Friday

0:51
'Turtles of Western Highway' wants volunteers to ensure reptiles' safety while crossing Orangetown roadway

'Turtles of Western Highway' wants volunteers to ensure reptiles' safety while crossing Orangetown roadway