BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
SUFFERN- Two fires tore through Berkeley Apartment Complex on Wayne Street Tuesday, March 10 leaving an estimated 25 people homeless. Over 60 firefighters from Suffern, Tallman, Monsey, Hillcrest and Spring Valley rushed to the first fire minutes before 7 p.m. to find a large basement fire raging thru the two-story building.
Firefighters were able to quell the basement blaze in under 20 minutes according to Suffern Fire Chief Michael Stark. He continued to state the “Damage to the basement was quite extensive because all the utilities sort of originate from that area”.
The fire rapidly spread causing immense damage to the basement, first floor, and even reached into the attic.
Firefighters remained on the scene until 11 p.m. inspecting the damage, and ensuring the blaze was completely out.
Suffern police continued watch on the building and spotted a second fire in a different part of the building at 3 a.m. Police promptly dispatched volunteer firefighters from Suffern, Tallman, and Mahwah to battle the blaze.
The American Red Cross states it has provided relief in the form of emergency relocation and personal items for the person whose apartment was completely destroyed. Additionally, residents of the other four apartments received assistance for emergency relocation, travel, and food.
Police state that approximately 25 residents are currently without shelter. Suffern Police department is currently accepting gift cards on behalf of the 16 Suffern families, about 25 people, uprooted by Tuesday’s fire. Giftcards for clothes, food, or anything to help citizens displaced from this fire can be dropped off at Suffern police headquarters in the downtown district of Suffern according to Police Chief Clark Osborn.