‘I got no words for it.’ Businesses, apartments destroyed in West Hempstead fire
A devastating fire on Woodfield Road in West Hempstead destroyed a row of businesses and left more than two dozen people displaced.
It began on the second floor of one of the apartments on Woodfield Road around 4 a.m. and quickly overtook the entire row of buildings.
In the end, five businesses were razed, and 30 people lost their homes.
Earl Milles told News 12 that all he and his family have are the clothes on their back.
“I just tried to come out the building because I don't know what could happen,” he said. “That's why I didn't take anything.”
Natalye Soogea said after surviving the pandemic, she decided to renovate and spent thousands of dollars on her business, Lasheez and Brow Secret Academy, only to have it be destroyed by the fire.
But things could have been worse. She showed News 12 surveillance video of her son banging on the door of the business. He thought his mother was inside the store and came looking for her. He was eventually rescued by firefighters.
“He got stuck in there and couldn't come out,” she said. "My son almost died in there."
The fire spread so quickly and caused so much damage that the entire strip is being boarded up and will most likely have to be torn down.
Daniel Crawford owned Star Salon and Barbershop. He says he put his heart and soul into his business, and now he will have to start over again.
“I just got no words for it,” he said. “As you can see…you got people who are homeless right now. You have other entrepreneurs here. You got nowhere to go on Monday morning for work or home.”