Yonkers, New York Fire Lawsuit

About Ronemus & Vilensky

The attorneys at Ronemus & Vilensky prepare each case as if it were going to trial, whether it does or not. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we will be prepared to try the case in court.


New details have emerged in the devastating fire that struck a multi-unit apartment building in Westchester County, NY on March 8, 2023. These new findings have spurred victims of the fire to seek legal assistance from the Law Firm of Ronemus & Vilensky, a prominent legal advocate in the Greater New York City area.

Around 1:15AM on March 8, a tenant growing marijuana in his unit with the help of high-intensity lamps experienced a breakage of one of the lamps. When the lamp broke, it sent sparks onto the apartment’s furnishings, igniting the blaze. As the fire spread, smoke detectors on upper floors did not go off; each floor of the seven-story building were equipped with standalone smoke detectors. As a result, tenants on the upper floors were not alerted to the dangerous and deadly fire spreading across the first floor.

Injuries and Death in the Apartment Fire

During the blaze, flames and heat were so severe that several residents dangled from fourth-floor windows waiting for firefighters to rescue them. Others jumped from fire escapes, leading to severe injuries. As rescuers swept the structure, an unconscious man was found in one of the units. He was brought outside, where firefighters began CPR; the man died on the scene when the life-saving measures proved insufficient.

35 firefighters received injuries and were treated in local hospitals along with at least six of the building’s residents. One firefighter was hit in the face by a fire hose attachment, resulting in severe trauma. He remains in the hospital receiving treatment for his injury. Other firefighters suffered burns, exhaustion, dehydration, and smoke inhalation injuries.

The Apartment’s Safety Issues and Victims’ Concerns

The apartment complex is located at 671 Bronx River Avenue in Yonkers, and is a cooperative with over 100 units. Some of the coop’s shareholders live in the complex and others rent their units to tenants. The management of the coop owns 51% of the shares in the building which is one of the factors that Attorney Robert Vilensky contends compromises the maintenance of the building as management tries to save money wherever possible. .

20 of the building’s tenants have sought the help of Ronemus & Vilensky. The law firm believes that the building was not kept up and that safety precautions and equipment were not in place.

First, the lack of an integrated smoke detector system, residents on upper floors didn’t know about the fire until it had spread dramatically. Second, residents had complained to managers about the marijuana growing operation on the first floor and contend that nothing had been done to address their complaints.

When firefighters arrived on scene to fight the blaze, an elevated garage kept fire trucks from being able to park close enough to the building to get access to the water valves located in the building’s staircases. The garage has corroded supports that are visibly weak, necessitating the distant parking of firefighting equipment. To complicate matters, the fire trucks had to use hydrants on the street a distance from the apartment.

The Law Firm of Ronemus & Vilensky continues to work closely with the City of Yonkers to investigate the fire’s origins and building’s safety hazards while providing legal advice and support to the displaced residents and first responders injured in the fire.