Officials: Unclear if smoke alarms working in Yonkers fire

Investigators are trying to determine if the smoke alarms were working when a deadly fire broke out in an apartment building in Yonkers.

Investigators are trying to determine if the smoke alarms were working when a deadly fire broke out in an apartment building in Yonkers. (3/17/17)

YONKERS - Investigators are trying to determine if the smoke alarms were working when a deadly fire broke out in an apartment building in Yonkers.

Fire officials confirm Wednesday's fire at 1 Hawley Terrace started in the fifth-floor apartment of Robert Reilly, who died in the fire, but the exact cause is still undetermined.

Reilly, 62, is described as a heavy smoker, and investigators are looking into the possibility of a lit cigarette as being the cause.

Sources tell News 12 that buildings such as 1 Hawley Terrace are not required to have centralized smoke alarms, but are required by law to have detectors in each unit and in the hallways.

But many of the people who lived at the building say that in the rush to get away from the heavy smoke and flames Wednesday morning, they don't remember if those alarms went off.

Many told News 12 that it was neighbors knocking on their doors at about 3:30 a.m. that first alerted them to the danger.

About 100 people were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is providing temporary shelter and helping many residents find more permanent housing.

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