A fire that damaged at least four residences at the Royal Garden Apartments in Spring Valley earlier this morning has now displaced occupants of all 85 units at the complex, according to the American Red Cross.
Red Cross spokesperson Caroline Sherwin told Patch that the building's heat and electricity have been turned off because of the damage incurred and there is no official timeline for restoration.
Local officials are working with the Red Cross to determine how quickly residents can regain access to the property and to develop backup plans for overnight shelter should it be necessary.
Red Cross officials are also looking to move the reception center from the Spring Valley Police Department to a larger space, said Sherwin.
"Volunteers are encouraging residents to reach out to friends and family," said Sherwin. "We will be working throughout the day with police, fire, and city officials to ensure everyone has a warm place to stay tonight."
Initially, the fire displaced 14 occupants from four families living at the Royal Garden Apartments, located at 99 Union Road.
Firefighters from Spring Valley battled the blaze that Rockland County Fire Coordinator Gordon Wren Jr. called "unusual" for its intensity in bitter cold weather conditions.
Dispatch received the call at approximately 6:45 a.m. and it took 90 minutes and mutual aid from surrounding towns, including Nyack, Monsey, and Hillcrest, to knock down the fire. Rockland Paramedics and Spring Valley Ambulance were also on scene.
In addition to the apartments damaged by fire, four or five units suffered smoke and water damage, said officials. Final damage assessments are still being made.
Wren said the fire department is reviewing why no smoke detectors sounded during the blaze. Wren also said one detector had already been located but it did not have batteries. He emphasized the importance of having operating smoke detectors in dwellings.
No injuries were sustained during the fire.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.