Firefighters work on the blaze on the Front Street house...

Firefighters work on the blaze on the Front Street house in Hempstead Saturday. Credit: Jim Staubitser

The owner of the illegally subdivided Hempstead home where a fire broke out on Saturday morning had been issued 21 prior violations, Village of Hempstead Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr. said Monday afternoon.

The violations, which date back to July 5, 2000, were all issued to Kerry K. Mohammed, who owns 83 Front St., the site of the fire, according to Keisha Marshall, Hempstead Village attorney. Mohammed's violations include failure to register for a renter's permit and unlicensed electrical and plumbing work, officials said.

Despite the violations regarding that residence, Hobbs said, prior to the fire, the village could not legally force those living at the property to move out. Eighteen people were living in the house, including in the basement and attic, which is not permitted, Hobbs said.

Mohammed is now in the process of evicting the tenants, Hobbs said.

“We're following the letter to the law of how we deal with these illegal rental locations in the Village of Hempstead,” Hobbs said. “We recently passed an ordinance making sure that we up the minimum fine for some of these violations because we want to make sure the fines match the violation.”

The prior violations are being handled in the Village of Hempstead Court. Mohammed has a court date on Aug. 21, officials said. 

While no injuries were caused by the fire, Village of Hempstead trustee Kevin Boone said the consequences could have been much worse. 

“If the fire had not vented up through the attic and would have come down, it could have been very bad not only for the people living there, but also for our firefighters,” Boone said.

Boone said the village “has seen a lot more than we would like to see” of illegal rentals, saying “It's a huge problem.” He added: “There should have been no occupancy in that house whatsoever.”

Nassau County Fire Marshal Mike Uttaro told Newsday the cause of the fire may have been on the exterior of the building and it has been ruled accidental.

Nassau County court records showed ongoing foreclosure proceedings began in October 2022 against Mohammed, who owed more than $428,000 since April 1, 2020, for the property at 81 Front St., also known as 83 Front St.

Court records state Mohammed purchased the property for $431,250 in June 2019. The case is set to return to court July 23.

Mohammed could not be reached for comment. An attorney for Mohammed could not be reached for comment Monday.

With John Asbury

Transgender ban lawsuit . . . Hempstead councilman dies . . . Places for kids to play Credit: Newsday

Updated 31 minutes ago GOP Veepstakes is over . . . LI's in sticky situation . . . Transgender ban lawsuit . . . Prime Day 

Transgender ban lawsuit . . . Hempstead councilman dies . . . Places for kids to play Credit: Newsday

Updated 31 minutes ago GOP Veepstakes is over . . . LI's in sticky situation . . . Transgender ban lawsuit . . . Prime Day 

Latest videos

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.