Riverhead ambulances at the incident scene overnight. Courtesy photo.

Forty-seven residents were evacuated from a West Main Street apartment building late last night after a nonfunctioning air conditioning system drove interior temperatures up in excess of 90 degrees on all four floors of the building, according to Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

RVAC responded to the building at 260 West Main Street, a building operated by Concern for Independent Living, on a call for a woman on the fourth floor who reported feeling ill.

The Riverhead Town fire marshal was called to the scene to assess the situation and attempt to restore air conditioning to the building.

Due to limited access to the system, increasing temperatures, and multiple high-risk residents feeling ill, RVAC Assistant Chief James Alfano declared a Mass Casualty Incident, the building was evacuated, according to the press release. The Riverhead Police Department, Riverhead Fire Department, Flanders Ambulance, Westhampton Ambulance, East Quogue Fire Department, Hampton Bays Ambulance, Mastic Beach Ambulance, Suffolk County Fire Rescue MERV (Major Emergency Response Vehicle) and American Red Cross assisted RVAC with the evacuation. Wading River Fire Department stood by at RVAC’s headquarters to respond to any additional calls in the town.

Riverhead Fire Department at the incident sen overnight. Courtesy .

Two residents were treated at the scene for medical emergencies and released. The remaining 45 residents were assessed for any heat-related symptoms.

Management staff was able to contact their air-conditioning company, which responded to attempt to fix the AC system, RVAC said.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., the building’s air-conditioning system was operational and the building was at a safe temperature to allow the residents to return to their rooms. EMS crews stayed on the scene to insure residents were safely returned to their rooms and not experiencing any medical problems.

The four-story brick building was dates back to the 1920s. Originally the Hotel Henry Perkins, a destination inn and event venue, it was converted to a group home for adults decades ago. Concern for Independent Living, a Medford-based nonprofit, purchased the building in 2004 and converted it into a 50-unit low-income apartment building for people with psychiatric disabilities.

File photo: Denise Civiletti

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