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Fire official: No working smoke detectors found after fatal Garden City blaze

A poster hanging on a fence at the

A poster hanging on a fence at the Madigans residence Friday. Credit: Newsday/Keldy Ortiz

A fire official said Friday that investigators found no working smoke detectors in the Garden City home where three family members died Thursday in an early morning blaze and that the fire did not appear to be suspicious in origin.

Gail Madigan, 60, a longtime volunteer with the village's Parent Teacher Association, and Molly Madigan, 18, a Garden City High School student who was bound for New York University, were identified Friday by Nassau County police. The identity of the male victim, 62, is pending an autopsy, officials said.

"Unfortunately, we don’t believe there were working smoke detectors in the home, but we’ll never be able to prove that, and unfortunately nothing will bring their poor souls back," said Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael F. Uttaro on Friday.

"People lost family members, a classmate, friends, community members," Uttaro said. "It’s been a big ordeal for the Village of Garden City, even for the firefighters, the police officers that responded."

Uttaro said investigators found one smoke detector in the house and it "was not functioning," and the first people at the scene did not recall hearing one. He urged people to make sure their smoke detectors are operable.

Uttaro said the fire, which is not considered suspicious, appears to have started in the rear of the house, though he did not say which floor. Officials hope to determine a cause in the coming days, he said.

The Washington Avenue fire was one of two Thursday morning that forced Nassau County to deploy almost all its firefighting departments, the fire marshal's office said.

Uttaro said Thursday that firefighters, redeployed from a "massive" fire at a trash center in Westbury, responded to the home quickly.

The fire was reported at 5:38 a.m. Thursday, Uttaro said. The two-story Colonial house was built in 1948, according to county records.

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