Seven fire departments battle flames at West Hempstead gas station

(12/06/05) WEST HEMPSTEAD Firefighters from seven departments contained what could have been a devastating fire at a West Hempstead gas station Tuesday.

Witnesses inside the Gulf Station on the corner of Westminster Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike say the fire erupted suddenly and with violent force at approximately 6:30 p.m. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames within a half hour, before they reached the facilitys underground tanks. Despite the stations proximity to Hempstead Turnpike and other buildings, no one was injured as a result of the incident.

Investigators say the fire started when gas from a vehicle in the garage leaked and came in contact with a kerosene heater. Nassau Fire Marshal Vincent McManus says kerosene heaters are not allowed in gas stations. The owners were cited for placing the heater in the facility.

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