Investigators: 1 dead, 16 displaced in Hempstead house fire

The fire broke out at a home on Devon Road early this morning.

Caroline Flynn

Nov 13, 2023, 12:15 PM

Updated 152 days ago

Share:

Investigators say there were seventeen people inside a Hempstead home when a basement fire ignited early Monday morning and killed a tenant.
Nassau police say the victim was an 81-year-old man.
Jagesly Castellon said she was the reason everyone else inside at the time, including family members, made it out alive and unharmed. She said she woke up to the smell of smoke around 5:30 a.m.
"I sleep on the second floor and I realized the smoke was coming from my floor,” Castellon told News 12. “I ran down to see if the oven was on or anything so see if that's where the smoke was coming from but I couldn't find the source. I ran back upstairs and started waking up my family and the rest of the people who live in my house."
A resident of the home told News 12 she couldn’t breathe and couldn’t see the stairs due to the intensity of the smoke.
The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office said Hempstead Fire Department arrived within three minutes and discovered someone in the basement who did not survive.
A resident of the home said the 81-year-old victim was friendly and described him as a “nice Christian man.”
Village of Hempstead Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr. said the home “was operating as an illegal rental home with an absentee landlord.” Hobbs said village ordinance prohibits people from living in basement apartments.
The mayor said the basement apartment “had no means of egress.”
He said he and the Board of Trustees are looking to bring in more building inspectors to deal with similar issues.
The cause of the fire was apparently electrical, associated with a space heater plugged into power strip and then apparently plugged into an overloaded outlet, according to the Nassau fire marshal.
The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office said there were smoke detectors inside but they did not appear to be working.


More from News 12
0:52
Paws of War service dogs attend candlelight remembrance vigil in Farmingdale

Paws of War service dogs attend candlelight remembrance vigil in Farmingdale

2:28
STORM WATCH: Cloudy skies and a scattered thunderstorm tonight on Long Island

STORM WATCH: Cloudy skies and a scattered thunderstorm tonight on Long Island

0:28
Nassau and Suffolk police step up patrols at synagogues amid increased Middle East tensions

Nassau and Suffolk police step up patrols at synagogues amid increased Middle East tensions

0:28
Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. Biden now seeks diplomatic response

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. Biden now seeks diplomatic response

1:54
Long Island fire departments hold recruitment events amid decline in enrollment

Long Island fire departments hold recruitment events amid decline in enrollment

0:24
Police: Car crashes onto guardrail, overturns on LIE in Brentwood; driver injured

Police: Car crashes onto guardrail, overturns on LIE in Brentwood; driver injured

0:38
'Pearls of Wisdom' tea event in Riverhead aims to empower young Black women

'Pearls of Wisdom' tea event in Riverhead aims to empower young Black women

0:52
Splish Splash hosts 8th annual Polar Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics athletes

Splish Splash hosts 8th annual Polar Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics athletes

0:36
Long Island residents participate in Oyster Bay beach and harbor cleanup

Long Island residents participate in Oyster Bay beach and harbor cleanup

0:24
Prosecutors: Central Islip man indicted for killing Bay Shore teen during attempted robbery

Prosecutors: Central Islip man indicted for killing Bay Shore teen during attempted robbery

1:46
Lynbrook PBA donates ‘communication board’ to school playground

Lynbrook PBA donates ‘communication board’ to school playground

1:35
CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

1:57
7 motorized scooters stolen from Williston Park garage; thieves contacted victim offering to sell them back

7 motorized scooters stolen from Williston Park garage; thieves contacted victim offering to sell them back

1:51
Dozens come out to exhibit to purchase art pieces depicting scenic North Shore

Dozens come out to exhibit to purchase art pieces depicting scenic North Shore

0:26
Shirley man pleads guilty to murder, setting victim's body on fire

Shirley man pleads guilty to murder, setting victim's body on fire

0:20
Freeport photographer accused of forcibly touching teen at Lindenhurst studio

Freeport photographer accused of forcibly touching teen at Lindenhurst studio

0:41
Judge dismisses Blakeman's lawsuit against AG's office connected to transgender athlete ban

Judge dismisses Blakeman's lawsuit against AG's office connected to transgender athlete ban

0:22
Officials: Fire breaks out at home near Wyandanch High School

Officials: Fire breaks out at home near Wyandanch High School

0:28
Police: Yonkers man charged for Old Westbury gas station robbery from nearly a year ago

Police: Yonkers man charged for Old Westbury gas station robbery from nearly a year ago

0:32
Beloved Franklin Square principal returns to Polk Street School following unexplained leave of absence

Beloved Franklin Square principal returns to Polk Street School following unexplained leave of absence