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Evening Fire Destroys Yorktown Home

The only difficulty firefighters encountered while fighting the fire was detonation of ammunition inside the home. The fire has completely destroyed the home.

A Yorktown house fire that started in the basement and quickly spread to the entire house completely destroyed the home of an elderly man Sunday evening.

Yorktown Heights Fire Department Chief Chet Swirski said firefighters received a call from a Wharton Court resident about the fire at Oakwood Court, located just off of London Road in Yorktown.

There was no one home at the time of the fire. By the time firefighters received the call, the two-story home was completely engulfed by flames. 

"There was not much we could do," Swirski said.

The fire has been ruled out accidental and it appears to have started when the wood burning stove in the basement malfunctioned, officials said. Swirski said the homeowner, a man in his 80s, had left the wood burning stove on. 

No one was injured. But the house was completely destroyed and leveled – the attic collapsed on the first floor and the first floor collapsed into the basement – Swirski said. 

The only difficulty firefighters encountered while fighting the fire was detonation of ammunition inside the home, causing explosions, Swirski said. The homeowner had the ammunition for hunting, Swirski said. 

It took about two hours for 50 firefighters from various area fire departments to put the fire under control. 

Yorktown received mutual aid from Lake Mohegan Fire Department, Bedford Hills FAST, as well as the Somers and Buchanan fire departments. Mt. Kisco and Millwood fire departments were on standby. 

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