A night fire caused the evacuation of an apartment building with a garden in Hempstead and left five residents hospitalized with minor injuries, Nassau County Deputy Fire Chief Michael Uttaro said Tuesday.
The fire on 599 Front St. was reported in a 911 call at 12:13 a.m. and Hempstead firefighters and several other departments responded to the scene, knocking down a fire in a third-floor apartment “almost immediately,” Uttaro said.
The 66-unit complex, which records were built in 1956, is known as Hofstra Gardens, but is not affiliated with the University of Hofstra.
Uttaro said an investigation into the cause of the fire determined that he was not a suspect.
“It appears to be an electric fire in the living room of a third floor unit,” he said, adding that it was related to the use of an unspecified electrical device.
Uttaro said all injuries were minor and “there were no serious burns or smoke inhalation injuries.”
Fire damage seems limited to one unit, Uttaro said, although several adjacent units may have been damaged by smoke and water.
Uttaro said inspectors at Hempstead Village will determine whether the units in the building are habitable or not. He said a fire chief from the inspection division will be in place on Tuesday to determine if all fire protection systems in the building are working properly. He said the electrical systems will also be inspected to ensure that everyone is operating safely.