YONKERS, NY (PIX11) - Officials say famed composer Ronald Senator and his wife Miriam Brickman were in their home at 81 Hillcrest Avenue, when a 3-alarm fire broke out just before midnight Wednesday.
"It's a large wood-frame house, three-and-half stories, set back from the street, so there's a lot of challenges here. We actually had to cut a tree down to get one of our tower ladders in the driveway," said Deputy Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick of the Yonkers Fire Department.
Two other people living in the home managed to escape out the back of the house, but the 89-year-old Senator and 81-year-old Brickman were trapped upstairs. Firefighters managed to get the couple out and rushed them to Jacobi Hosptial, where they died.
"They took them out, but on the stretchers and it just didn't look right," said neighbor Dorota Adamek. "They were doing CPR on them, everything and the older lady was the last one."
Senator was a Pulitzer-nominated composer. Brickman, his wife, a concert pianist. The two often worked on their music together. Neighbors say the couple split most of their time between New York and an apartment in London, and had recently put this house up for sale.
"It's sad. God bless them," said neighbor Stephen Ford.
Nine firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.