Mamaroneck Building Condemned, Residents Seek Shelter

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Residents of 680 W. Boston Post Road wait to gather belongings as firefighters ensure their safety upon re-entering the building. Photo Credit: Chaya Babu

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Residents of an apartment building at 680 W. Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck were evacuated Sunday afternoon after a pipe burst and caused significant damage. The Mamaroneck Building Department has condemned the building until further notice.

Carolyn Sherwin, volunteer spokesperson for the Metro New York chapter of the American Red Cross said Mamaroneck High School is open as a temporary shelter for the residents. The Red Cross is working with the Village of Mamaroneck and its Certified Emergency Response Team.

"We're getting everybody out of the cold and the elements, to regroup, to call friends and family," Sherwin said. "The high school opened up immediately. It’s warm and it’s safe. A lot of the people do have places to stay, and hopefully they can get back in soon. Everyone is well taken care of.”

Sherwin said that the building has 62 units but did not have an estimate on the number of individuals displaced.

Mamaroneck Fire Chief Chris Szymanowski said that the fire department was called at around 1:30 p.m. about a water leak. 

"It took out half of the building; there’s a lot of damage to ceilings, floors, walls, all the electrical is compromised," he said. "At this point we’ve cut their electric, their gas and their water so there’s no basic services, and the building has been condemned by the building department. Everybody's in the process now of getting their essentials and getting out.”

One resident of five years, Tony Foppiano, described the situation as "just a lot of water." He said the fire department arrived and began tearing through the walls and ceilings to locate the pipe, but there was still about an hour and a half of leakage until it was shut off. 

As he has no family in the area, Foppiano said he is considering going into work until he figures out where to stay or calling some friends, though he knows the high school is open. 

“They’re letting people back in with a fireman to get some clothes, other necessities, medication," he said, having just come out minutes earlier with a few belongings in a small suitcase. "Hopefully in a couple of days we’ll know what’s going on.”

Szymanowski did not have a timeline for when residents will be allowed to return to their homes. "The emergency has been dealt with," he said. "Now it's up to the building department and restoration companies."

As of Sunday evening, no one was available at the Mamaroneck Building Department to answer questions.

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