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'Suspicious' Hicksville deli fire injures man, police say

At least one person has been injured in

At least one person has been injured in an early morning store fire in Hicksville, Nassau County police said (Oct. 7, 2013) Credit: Paul Mazza

A Hicksville deli fire that left one man seriously injured early Monday morning has been "deemed suspicious," Nassau County police said.

The fire at Giovanni's Deli on Bloomingdale Road was reported in a 911 call just after 5 a.m., police and fire officials said. Police said a 60-year-old man was found inside the building by volunteers from the Bethpage Fire Department.

The man, whose identity was not released, was transported to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow suffering from smoke inhalation.

Police said he is in serious condition. Hospital spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said he is in the hospital burn unit.

Police said the investigation is continuing -- and said it was unclear if the man was a store employee. Police also declined to comment on the possible cause of the blaze or why it is being considered suspicious.

Officials said 50 volunteers from the Bethpage Fire Department responded to the scene with seven pieces of equipment, with Chief James L. Baudille Sr. in charge of the scene.

Police said that, on arrival, witnesses told firefighters one person "may still be inside" the building and that firefighters located the victim inside "breathing but unresponsive."

Smoke was coming from the roof, police said.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Reference photos available online show the deli is a stand-alone building in a neighborhood that is a mix of commercial and residential structures.

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