HEMPSTEAD - Family members of two Hempstead fire victims say they can't afford to pay for their loved ones' funerals.

The Hempstead community is asking for help burying 38-year-old Guadalupe Ramirez and her 8-year-old son, Fernando, who died in a Hempstead apartment building fire last week.

S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. and the Hempstead EOC are trying to raise money to help the grieving family.

Hempstead Village Trustee Livio Rosario says the aging St. Pauls Road North apartment building was a tragedy waiting to happen. According to the village's building department, there have been at least a half-dozen violations in the past year, and the Nassau Fire Marshal's Office has ordered a retro-fit of the antiquated fire alarm system.

The apartment building is owned by a corporation named Dorchester. No one at the company returned calls for comment.

The fire marshal says the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, but family members in the building say they believe it was an electrical short circuit.

Officials say the fire displaced more than 250 people.

For more on the fund for Ramirez and her son, click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.