Extensive damage complicates probe into fatal Yonkers fire

Yonkers officials say damage from the fatal fire at 1 Hawley Terrace is so extensive that it may be impossible to determine what caused it.



The fire started around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in a fifth-floor apartment.



Resident Robert Reilly, 62, lived on the fifth floor and died in the blaze. Neighbors say he was a heavy smoker.



"We understand that maybe the deceased did smoke, but it's just hearsay at this point, all kinds of possibilities, we don't want to rule anything out too early," says Yonkers Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick.



It took almost 13 hours before the fire was declared under control.



About 100 residents were left scrambling as flames erupted from their building. On Thursday, officials escorted a number of them into the building to see if they can salvage any belongings.



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.



There is no word on whether any alarms went off when the fire broke out.


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