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15 left homeless by Hempstead house fire started by candle, marshal says

Firefighters at the scene of a fire on

Firefighters at the scene of a fire on Wellesley Street in Hempstead on Saturday. Credit: Lou Minutoli

A fire caused by an unattended candle in an attic bedroom Saturday afternoon in Hempstead left the house uninhabitable and 15 people without a place to live, according to the Nassau County fire marshal’s office.

According to an email from Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael F. Uttaro, firefighters responding to a 911 call to Wellesley Street at about 3:58 p.m. found that four occupants — three youths and an adult — had "self evacuated."

It took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control, according to the email, which said the home lacked smoke detectors. He said the candle caused the fire accidentally and the circumstances were not suspicious.

All four of the occupants were treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow for smoke inhalation, and one of the youths for burns, his email said. One firefighter sustained "minor burns" and was treated at the scene.

It was unclear from the email where the 15 lived in relationship to the location of the fire. But, he said, all are being helped by the Red Cross into temporary housing.

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