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Fire damages Hempstead house with squatters

Nine fire departments responded to a fire in

Nine fire departments responded to a fire in a vacant house on Grove Street in Hempstead, where squatters had taken up residence, officials said. Hempstead Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Clark said that the fire did not appear to be suspicious. (August 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Lou Minutoli

Nine fire departments responded early Sunday morning to a fire in a vacant house on Grove Street in Hempstead where squatters had taken up residence.

Hempstead Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Clark said that when crews arrived after the 12:57 a.m. call, they found fire coming out of three sides of the structure and heavy smoke billowing from the windows.

The fire damaged the house but was under control in about 30 to 40 minutes. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for overheating. Clark said it appeared that squatters had been living inside the home, but all had escaped from the flames.

The heat of the fire also damaged an adjacent home, also vacant. Clark said the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Nassau County Fire Marshal, but the fire did not appear to be suspicious.

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