Grand Street School in New Cassel hit by fire

Firefighters responded to a fire at an abandoned

Firefighters responded to a fire at an abandoned school at Broadway and Grand Street in Westbury early Saturday evening, April 26, 2014. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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Firefighters doused a fire at the shuttered Grand Street School in New Cassel on Saturday afternoon.

Doug Ingram, chief of the Westbury Fire Department, said the fire was contained to a storage area connected to the rear of school, which is a contaminated brownfield site. One firefighter had minor injuries -- dehydration, Ingram said, but refused medical attention.

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Seven other Nassau County fire departments helped to battle the blaze that began just before 5 p.m. and was put out shortly before 6 p.m., Ingram said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Ingram said.

The Grand Street School has long been considered a blight on the community. Its windows and doors vanished in recent years, and the Environmental Protection Agency in May 2013 gave the Town of North Hempstead $200,000 to clean up the abandoned school.

According to the EPA, the site was found to be contaminated with inorganic contaminants and metals. The agency has said hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will pay for the site's cleanup.

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It is set to be demolished this year, and town officials have said they hope an affordable, senior housing complex is installed on the property.

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