Tenants of St. Paul's Road apartments in Hempstead question safety after fire

Guadalupe Ramirez, 38, and her 8-year-old son, Fernando, died in a fire at their apartment building on St. Paul's Road North.

Guadalupe Ramirez, 38, and her 8-year-old son, Fernando, died in a fire at their apartment building on St. Paul's Road North. (2/19/13)

HEMPSTEAD - Tenants of a Hempstead apartment building are questioning its safety after a fire last weekend that killed a single mother and her young son.

Residents say the building on St. Pauls' Road did not have working fire alarms when the flames broke out. Guadalupe Ramirez and her 8-year-old son, Fernando, were killed in the fire.

Longtime tenant Suzette McFarlane says she barely made it out of her apartment. She says there was no alarm at all, and by the time she got out, she says the building was "dark" and "suffocating."

According to the Village of Hempstead Building Department, state law doesn't require structures like the apartment building, which was built in 1948, to have working fire alarm systems.

News 12 Long Island has learned that at least one local lawmaker is looking to change that. Village Trustee Livio Rosario says he will soon propose legislation so that existing buildings would no longer be exempt from having upgraded, functioning alarm systems. He hopes to introduce the bill next week.

The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office says the building was ordered to replace its non-working alarm system with a new one that meets today's standards. The office says the work was completed after the fatal fire.

More on this topic

Hempstead Fire Donations

If you would like to make a financial donation to help pay for funeral costs for Guadalupe Ramirez and her 8-year-old son Fernando who died in the apartment fire in Hempstead, please send it to:

Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association
236 Main St.
Hempstead, NY 11550

S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth

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