Fire victims question whether smoke alarms worked

Many victims of a fire in Yonkers are wondering if the building's smoke alarms worked properly the night of the deadly blaze.

Working smoke alarms were just one topic at a meeting last night at St. Mark's Episcopal Church between management and more than 100 people who lived at One Hawley Terrace.

The six-story building went up in flames on March 15 and claimed the life of 62-year-old Robert Reilly and left dozens of families displaced. 

Some residents say they never heard smoke alarms go off that morning, and fire investigators are looking into any potential malfunctions.

An attorney for building management told News12 there are three alarms on each floor, but it's not a centralized system. The attorney released a statement saying in part, "The board made the decision to have the system installed last summer. The system was tested after it was installed and it was functioning at the time of the test."

Authorities say the cause of the fire is still undetermined because of the extensive damage and destroyed evidence.

Investigators say the cause of the fire remains undetermined, due to extensive damage and potential evidence destroyed by the fire.

Other topics at the meeting included information about insurance claims, where to find affordable housing, and if reconstruction is even possible.

Carol Grotto, who called 1 Hawley Terrace home for the past 55 years, says the ordeal has been traumatic for her. "I've lost everything, and it was my home and I didn't really intend to leave there."

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