Feds assisting with North Lawrence fire probe

Federal authorities are helping Nassau County police in the investigation of a fatal fire that took place Thursday in North Lawrence.
ATF agents are examining evidence from the fire scene in their Maryland laboratories as a courtesy to the Nassau County Police Department.Nassau County's fire marshal ruled out natural and accidental causes in the blaze, which killed 46-year-old Marena Vanegas and three of her children. Vanegas' husband and two other children were able to escape the blaze. The family was trapped in an apartment above a Laundromat when the blaze began. Investigators say they believe the fire started in the stairwell. Authorities say the fire escape, which may have allowed the victims to get out safely, had been removed. The Town of Hempstead says the building's owner will be fined for removing the fire escape. The fire spread to an adjacent building, leaving 20 people displaced. The Red Cross was at the scene assisting those who no longer have a place to live. Another family of four who lived in the apartment next door was also able to get out safely.
Community leader Lenore Davis says the family is having trouble paying for funeral arrangements for Morena and her children. The community is collecting monetary donations as well as food and clothing for the survivors of the fire.
Donations for victims of North Lawrence fire:Drop off food, clothing or money at:#6 School 523 Church Ave.Woodmere, NY 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.Asher Mansdorf ? amansdor@aol.com
Officials call deadly North Lawrence fire 'suspicious'