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Official: Pepper spray sickens 7 inside Hempstead building

Members of the Hempstead Fire Department respond to

Members of the Hempstead Fire Department respond to a report of fumes in a building Thursday at 250 Fulton Ave. Credit: Jim Staubitser

Seven people were treated at a hospital Thursday after they apparently became ill from pepper spray inside a Village of Hempstead office building, a fire department official said.

Emergency personnel responded following a 4:15 p.m. report of an odor emanating from the building at 250 Fulton Ave., officials said.

Seven people were hospitalized complaining of “difficulty breathing, and irritants to their throats and eyes,” said Hempstead Fire Department Chief Scott Clark.

Preliminary findings from the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s hazmat unit at the scene determined that pepper spray made the victims ill, Clark said.

Eleven other people were evaluated by medical personnel on scene, Clark said.

Nassau police took over the investigation Thursday night into how the pepper spray was discharged, Clark said.

Reached by phone, a Nassau police spokesman said he was did know if the department was investigating.

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