Officials: Cedarhurst house fire caused by incense, candles

Firefighters respond to a fire at a multifamily residence where at least one elderly woman had to be rescued. Officials say several resdents and one firefighter suffered minor injuries. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (July 22, 2012)

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Burning incense and candles probably started a Cedarhurst house fire Sunday that injured four occupants and a responding firefighter, according to arson/bomb squad detectives with the Nassau County Police Department.

Authorities responded to the Fifth Avenue blaze at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and police said they helped remove a physically challenged woman, 56, from the house who could not exit on her own.

Police Sunday would not detail her condition, but said, "She was very large."

Four other occupants had already evacuated the home, police said.

The woman and three others were taken to hospitals and treated for smoke inhalation, police said.

A Hewlett Fire Department firefighter also was taken to a hospital after suffering a laceration caused by falling debris, police said.

About 100 firefighters responded to the scene, including members of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Valley Stream and Woodmere fire departments, police said.

The house suffered serious damage, police said.

Investigators said the fire started in the second-floor apartment, where incense and candles were being used, police said.

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