Armonk Fire Chief Luci Labriola-Cuffe told Patch Thursday evening that lightning is likely to be the cause.
"We're pretty certain that it was a lightning strike," she said, based on witnesses.
The National Weather Service is being contacted to get more information on whether a strike happened, she explained.
In one possible anecdote, the caretaker at the home reported hearing "a loud boom," which could have been the strike.
About 60 to 75 firefighters responded to the blaze, she explained, coming from 12 different fire departments. They included: Armonk, Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Banksville, North White Plains, Pleasantville, Katonah, Bedford Hills, Bedford Village, Pound Ridge, Purchase and Valhalla.
Additionally, firefighters used a dry hydrant system, which connected to a pond on the other side of the development, Labriola-Cuffe said. A total of six tankers were brought in, one from Armonk and five from other fire departments.
The fire department responded at around 10:51 p.m. Wednesday and it took until roughly 3:30 a.m. Thursday to knock down the blaze, she explained. Hot spots needed to be treated a few hours later.
An Armonk home suffered severe damage from a fire on Wednesday night, requiring mutual aid from several neighboring communities to help put it out.
“It was awful," said Eric Markowtiz, who lives near the house, which is located at 12 Hallock Pl. Fortunately, he explained, the residents were not harmed. His neighbors have three kids, and only a nanny was there at the time, he said.
Arriving home from a Fourth of July party, Markowitz described "a huge plume of smoke" coming out from the trees.
The took about four and a half hours to put out, Armonk Fire Chief Luci Labriola-Cuffe told The Journal News, and about 60 firefighters were needed to extinguish it. Mutual aid was provided, according to the paper, by firefighters from Mount Kisco, Chappaqua, Banksville, North White Plains, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Bedford Village, Bedford Hills and Katonah.
Armonk firefighters responded at about 10:51 p.m., the paper reported.
Labriola-Cuffe also told multiple media outlets that lightning is being explored as a possible cause of the blaze, as the right side of the building was struck yesterday amid a storm. The fire chief could not be reached for comment by Patch.
Fighting the blaze on Hallock Place, a hilly cul-de-sac where residences are set back with long driveways, posed a challenge, due to difficulty in having water readily available. Markowitz described seeing a special tanker vehicle brought in to supply water.
“It was kind of like a pool," he said of a device used.
Judy Schwartz, Markowitz's mother, said there are no fire hydrants in the area, with houses using well water. Schwartz added that they have an existing hydrant on their property near a swimming pool, and in the aftermath of the fire she would like to have it connected so firefighters can use the pool water when needed.