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Hartsdale Chief Died Of Alcohol Poisoning, Officials Say

Alcohol poisoning was given as the cause of death for Hartsdale Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Kelley.
Alcohol poisoning was given as the cause of death for Hartsdale Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Kelley. Photo Credit: Hartsdale Fire District

HARTSDALE, N.Y. — Alcohol poisoning was the cause of death of Hartsdale Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Kelley, the Westchester County Medical Examiner's office said Wednesday.

The death was ruled an accident. Kelley, 48, had worked at the Hartsdale Fire District for 18 years. Officials were not able to comment on what Kelley had been drinking before he checked himself into Phelps Memorial Hospital Center just before 5 p.m. on Jan. 22.

Kelley, an Edgemont resident, was pronounced dead at 6 a.m. the next morning. According to officials at the Medical Examiner's office, he had a history of alcohol abuse.

Members of Kelley's family and Hartsdale Fire Chief Ed Rush could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning. Funeral services were held Wednesday at 10 a.m. in Hyde Park.

Kelley served as a firefighter in Poughkeepsie and the Arlington Fire District before spending the last 18 years of his career at the Hartsdale Fire District. He also taught at the fire academy. He will be remembered for his dedication and handing on to others his immense knowledge of fire service, Rush said.