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Hempstead Fire Claims Second Victim

Woman, 37, succumbs to injuries sustained in Saturday's apartment blaze.

A 37-year-old woman critically injured in Saturday's five-alarm fire in Hempstead died Sunday, becoming the second victim of the apartment building blaze.

Guadalupe Ramirez, 37, of Hempstead, succumbed to her injuries, according to Nassau County Police. The identity of the first victim is being withheld by police pending family notification and the results of the medical examiners’ report, but according to Newsday [paid link], an 8-year-old boy had died in the fire.

The fire broke out around 6:22 a.m. at an apartment building located at 9-17 St. Paul Road North. The Hempstead Fire Department received the call first but roughly 300 firefighters from Hempstead, West Hempstead, Lakeview, Rockville Centre, Baldwin, Uniondale, Elmont, Roosevelt, Franklin Square, Lawrence/Cedarhurst, South Hempstead, North Merrick, East Meadow, Mineola and North Bellmore Fire Departments fought the blaze for several hours before it was extinguished completely.

"Crews overcame a foot of snow, ice and ... frozen hydrants as well as working for almost six hours fighting this blaze," explained a spokesperson for the Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department, which responded to Hempstead's mutual aid call with one engine and one ambulance to the scene. 

Two West Hempstead firefighters were credited with pulling one woman from the blaze.

More than 200 Hempstead residents were forced from their apartments and 11 victims were transported to area hospitals, nine of which were treated for non-life threatening injuries. One victim had been listed in critical condition and one victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Newsday reports:

Among those injured was a woman who suffered a heart attack, a pregnant woman and three firefighters who were injured by debris to their eyes, Clark said. Also hurt were two children that neighbors said were tossed from a third-story window, fire officials said.

The Red Cross, whose volunteers handed blankets at the scene to help keep residents warm and provided hot coffee to first responders, set up a reception center at nearby Kennedy Park Recreation Center to assist the roughly 250 people who have been displaced from their homes.

Detectives and the Nassau County Fire Marshall are deeming the fire, which originated in a third floor apartment, to be non- suspicious. The cause is undetermined at this time. This investigation is ongoing.

whitneyramos February 14, 2013 at 02:23 PM
My mother died at 8:45 and that 8 year old was her son and the fire was officially put out around 6:20 am. and she was 36 years old.
Mark February 19, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Sorry to hear that. Time and only time will help heal your emotional wounds. Stay with family and good friends. Take one day at a time.
WHMuther February 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM
This a terrible tragedy. I truly feel for the family dealing with their loses. I do however have one question. Fire Departments from all over the county were called to the scene to assist. According to your article, Garden City, a town whose borders are less than a mile away from the fire scene, was never called to help. If your article is indeed correct, then I think we should demand a formal explanation as to why neighboring departments were not called to help in this extreme emergency situation. I am no fire expert and I am not saying this could have prevented tragedy, but I can not think of any reason why you would not utilize the closest departments when help is needed to protect the safety of Hempstead residents.
Fireman February 28, 2013 at 04:07 PM
It is common practice to skip towns regardless of proximity to an incident so you do not completely strip emergency resources within a given geographical area.
Redsled February 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Now that's not entirety the true .... Although you wouldnt call multiple mutial aid units from one department you would call single units from every surrounding dept and that would prevent stripping resources and get units to the scene faster than skipping. That being said, it wouldn't have made a difference, the closest departments get there fast and the departments further away backfill the departments on scene. Hempstead is a top notch department with lots of experience and they always have a quick response. They never wait to call for assistance.

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