fire residential home

Multiple alarm fire at the Evergreen Home for Adults in Spring Valley, March 23, 2021.
A resident and a firefighter died after a massive fire tore through an assisted living home for adults early Tuesday.

Firefighters and police officers raced to rescue two dozen residents, several of whom were seriously injured after the fire broke out shortly before 1 a.m. at the Evergreen Court Home for Adults.

Ten residents and two firefighters were taken to hospitals, Rockland County Director of Fire and Emergency Services Chris Kear said.

One resident was initially reported missing, but has since been found unharmed.

The fallen firefighter was reported missing as the fire raged. Firefighters spent almost 24 hours searching for him before his body was found in the rubble early Wednesday.

The resident who died passed away after being taken to a hospital. No other details on the victims were immediately available.

Multiple alarm fire at the Evergreen Home for Adults in Spring Valley, March 23, 2021.

"It's a sad day on many fronts," Kear said, though he noted that first responders "saved numerous, numerous lives here."

Kear called the actions of first responders "heroic."

When the blaze was called in at 12:52 a.m., there were reports of residents trapped and there were flames shooting out of the building, where the fire spread from the first floor up through the roof and burned for more than six hours. Smoke was still rising from the debris shortly before 11 a.m. as firefighters continued to work on extinguishing the fire.

Denise Kerr, director of Evergreen, said there currently were 112 residents at Evergreen, an adult care facility that offers assisted living, nursing home and continuing care for older adults. Residents not injured were transported to another local facility.

Kerr called the fire "an unspeakable tragedy" in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to all individuals and families who have been impacted," Kerr said. "We join the community in mourning the loss of our resident and pray for the safety of the missing firefighter."

Kerr said Evergreen was cooperating with all state and local officials investigating the fire, and is conducting its own internal investigation. All residents have been placed in a new home, she said.