Benjamin Carroll

1 Dead, Dozens Displaced After Raging Apartment Complex Fire in Yonkers

The four-alarm blaze took more than 9 hours to quell.

One person is dead and more than two dozen families have been displaced after a wind-driven four-alarm blaze decimated an apartment complex in Yonkers early Wednesday. 

Authorities say the fire broke out around 4 a.m. on the fifth floor of the eight-story building on Hawley Terrace.

Flames shot out of a window on the top floor as residents fled into sub-freezing temperatures and streets still clogged with snow from Tuesday's nor'easter.

Photos: Nor'easter Brings Snow, Sleet, Floods to Region

The fire raged for more than 9 hours, and after it was put out by about 1:30 p.m, rescuers still feared a portion of the building could collapse.

Firefighters said the body of the person killed was still in the building just before 2 p.m.

Residents of the apartment building, which houses about 100 people, said they were devastated by the blaze but glad to be alive. Several people had lost their cars in the fire and displaced residents were checking into a nearby Red Cross.

Yonkers Fire Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick said frozen hydrants complicated firefighters' effort to douse the flames. The apartment complex is also on a hill, and firefighters had to fight icy roadways and strong winds, he said. 

Photos from the scene showed rescuers helping bundled-up residents walk across snowbanks on the slippery hill as flames shot out of the building. It wasn't clear if anyone else was injured, and the identity of the person who died wasn't released. The body was found on the fifth floor. 

The Red Cross is helping displaced residents at the Yonkers Police Athletic League. The group said it had registered 35 displaced families by about 2 p.m., but the building had 57 units so that number may rise. 

The cause of the blaze wasn't immediately known. Traffic delays were expected in the area throughout the day. 

[NATL] March Nor'easter Grounds Flights, Closes Schools

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us