Long Island Fire Kills One

ROOSELVELT, Long Island—Five volunteer departments battled a morning fire on Long Island, which claimed one victim. The conflagration tore through a building where nearly a dozen people lived; a pair jumped from a second-store window to survive; one 50-year –old man perished on the second story, according to authorities.

The body of a 50-year-old man was found among the charred remnants of the second floor of a building on Debevoise Avenue in Roosevelt after the structure caught fire around 2:30 a.m. Friday, authorities say.

“He came out and he went back in. I don’t know if he was trying to get someone or to get belongings,” said neighbor Ashley Argueta, who watched the blaze from her front window. “I do know he did not come out of the fire.”

Shanoah Jones, one of the people who jumped, said the smoke was so thick that she couldn’t see anything. She managed to get out just in time.

“As soon as I got out of the window… Woof! The whole house took into a big ball of flames,” she said.

The blaze, which authorities say appears to have been caused by either an overloaded or faulty extension cord, torched the dwelling and burned so intensely that firefighters were pushed back when they tried to enter the structure.

Volunteers from five departments fought the blaze for several hours and eventually brought the flames under control, but the structure had to be demolished. 

Firefighters say the two people who jumped from the building, Jones and a man, were taken to the hospital. The extent of the man’s injuries wasn’t immediately known, but Jones only suffered a cut on her finger.

Witnesses said they saw other residents run back into the burning building to retrieve their belongings. Jones said she lost everything in the blaze.

A Hempstead town official says the town issued multiple summonses to the owner of the property in 2011 and 2014 for operating an illegal boarding house. The owner, however, failed to appear in court, according to the official.

The man who died in the fire has not been identified.

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