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.
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.