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Cedarhurst tenant angry over eviction sets fire to apartment, police say

Fire at a fourth-floor apartment in Cedarhurst late

Fire at a fourth-floor apartment in Cedarhurst late Friday afternoon Jan. 16, 2015. Photo Credit: Lou Minutoli

A Cedarhurst man, enraged because he was being evicted, lit eight separate fires in his top-floor apartment Friday afternoon, injuring himself and another resident, Nassau County police said.

Douglas Drummond, 53, has been charged with second-degree arson, police said Saturday.

The blaze started about 2:20 p.m. and by the time Lawrence-Cedarhurst firefighters responded, apartment 3H was fully engulfed, police said.

As parts of his apartment burned, Drummond hung out of a window -- prompting 911 calls about people possibly trapped in the building, said Michael Uttaro, Nassau assistant chief fire marshal.

Cedarhurst firefighters rescued Drummond after he retreated into his apartment, Uttaro said.

The fire was under control by 4 p.m.

While the fire was contained to Drummond's home, several other apartments suffered water damage.

The 57-unit apartment building at 97 Cedarhurst Ave., four stories with shops on the first floor, was evacuated and several tenants were displaced. The Red Cross was at the scene Friday to assist residents.

Drummond sustained smoke inhalation and minor burns and remains hospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. He could be arraigned Sunday, the Nassau district attorney's office said.

A 24-year-old male whose name was not released was taken to a hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation and released. Uttaro said the second person injured was the building superintendent, who was hurt while helping evacuate tenants.

With Ellen Yan

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