At least 1 dead in raging Yonkers apartment fire

A Yonkers man died in an apartment fire in the city early Wednesday morning.



Fire officials say flames broke out at 1 Hawley Terrace, near Warburton and Odell avenues, around 4 a.m. 



News 12 sources have identified the victim as Robert Reilly, who was in his 60s and well known among neighbors.



Investigators say the victim may have been smoking in bed, which could have led to the fire.



Crews extinguished the main body of the fire after spending hours battling flames.



Deputy Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick says the fire, which sparked on the fifth floor of a six-story, U-shaped building, was difficult for firefighters to get access to with ladders. Further complicating matters, fire hydrants in the area froze, so crews had to set up a relay system of lines from hydrants blocks away on North Broadway.



Fitzpatrick says piles of snow also hindered the movement of heavy machinery, and gusting winds fanned the flames. 



Firefighters from every company in Yonkers deployed to battle the flames, and mutual aid arrived from New Rochelle.



Roughly 100 people have been displaced. The Red Cross has set up temporary shelter at the PAL building on North Broadway.


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