Fundraiser held for Hawley Terrace fire victims
Survivors of a deadly Yonkers fire and safety inspectors are at odds over whether the fire alarms worked, but the community came together for a fundraiser Friday to help displaced victims.
The fire at 1 Hawley Terrace started in a fifth-floor apartment on March 15, killing the man who lived there, Robert Reilly. At least 100 residents were displaced.
Danny Peluso says he lost everything in the blaze, but he also says he's never been more grateful for the love and support of the Yonkers community.
"We have friends," he says. "While the fire was still burning, they created webpages, GoFundMe accounts, and it ballooned into this. We are able to get people clothes."
The fundraiser to help the fire victims get back on their feet attracted hundreds of people. Karen Tumelty is one of the organizers of the event, hosted at the Amackassin Club.
"We decided to throw a party, and we said, 'Who doesn't like pot luck?' The raffle prizes are pouring in. The food is pouring in," she says.
Local restaurants and businesses donated food and raffle items.
A co-op owner, who lived in an apartment on an upper floor, says it wasn't the sound of a fire alarm that woke him, but the commotion going on around his apartment.
The man says he then smelled what he thought was burning rubber. However, as he walked in the hallways, he saw an apartment in the building was on fire.
He described seeing smoke coming out from under the door on the fifth floor apartment where the fire sparked.
Yonkers fire investigators have told News 12 they tested fire alarms on the fifth floor after they extinguished the flames and said they were working.