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Five hurt in Hempstead apartment fire, Nassau fire official says

The Hempstead Fire Department was called to a

The Hempstead Fire Department was called to a fire in an apartment building on Front Street just after midnight on Tuesday. Credit: Paul Mazza

An overnight fire caused the evacuation of a garden apartment building in Hempstead and left five residents hospitalized with minor injuries, Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said Tuesday.

The fire at 599 Front St. was reported in a 911 call at 12:13 a.m. and firefighters from Hempstead and several other departments responded to the scene, knocking down a fire in a third-floor apartment "almost immediately," Uttaro said.

The 66-unit complex, which records show was built in 1956, is known as Hofstra Gardens but is not affiliated with Hofstra University.

Uttaro said an investigation into the cause of the fire determined it was not suspicious.

"It appears to be an electrical fire in the living room of a third-floor unit," he said, adding it was related to use of an unspecified electrical appliance.

Uttaro said all the injuries were minor and that there were "no serious burn or smoke inhalation injuries."

Fire damage appears limited to one unit, Uttaro said, though several adjacent units may have suffered smoke and water damage.

Uttaro said inspectors from Hempstead Village will make the determination whether or not units in the building are habitable. He said a fire marshal from the inspections division will be on-site Tuesday to determine if all fire protection systems in the building are operating correctly. He said electrical systems also will be inspected to make sure they are all safely operating.

Uttaro said Tuesday afternoon all residents were back at their apartments with the exception of the residents who lived at the unit that caught fire and the unit below it.


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