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Ossining Fire Caused By Cigarette in Flower Pot

OSSINING, N.Y. – A fire that engulfed a two-family house on Monday was caused by a cigarette that was discarded into a flower pot on the porch, Ossining Fire Chief Tom Reddy said.

"The winds were coming off the Hudson River and the heavy winds helped the fire spread and intensify along with the vinyl siding, which became a fuel package," Reddy said. "The fire started on the second floor porch outside then wrapped around to the back of the house and upward. It then penetrated and traveled into the attic space."

Seven people who lived at 22 Eastern Ave. were left temporarily homeless because of the fire, according to Red Cross volunteer spokesperson Carolyn Sherwin. There were two adults and two teens from one family and three adults from the other family.

Two adults and one teen were in the house when the fire started at around 11:55 a.m. on Monday, Reddy said. An occupant of the third floor and his daughter were transported by Ossining Emergency Medical Services to a nearby hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation, Reddy said.

One of the approximately 75 Ossining firefighters who responded to the fire got debris in his eye and was treated at the scene, Reddy added.

Two parrots that lived in the house were rescued by firefighters and taken in by a friend of one of the displaced families.

"We did provide them with the essentials for after a fire – emergency lodging, assistance for clothing and food and necessary storage supplies or containers so that they can put in whatever they could get out of the house," Sherwin said.

In addition, Red Cross mental health volunteers were on hand to help family members cope with emotions and stress after the fire, Sherwin said.

Reddy said the fire, which was put out by about 1 p.m., caused some damage, but the damage was repairable.

"At some point the people will be able to move back in," he said.

The Croton FAST team and the Briarcliff Cascade Unit also responded to the fire and members of the Millwood and Sleepy Hollow fire departments were on standby.

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