A 60-year-old woman died and seven others were taken to area hospitals for smoke inhalation after a fire destroyed a five-bedroom, split-level home in Williston Park Tuesday morning, Nassau County Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said.
The victim was identified as Kashmira Patel in multiple reports. The cause of death is still being investigated, Uttaro said.
All eight people were members of the same family, Uttaro said. The seven survivors were released by the hospitals after being treated for smoke inhalation.
A 911 call for an active fire at 252 Lafayette St. was made shortly after 3 a.m. with the Garden City Park Fire Department responding first to the scene within 10 minutes in what was a fully involved fire, Uttaro said.
Seven people self-evacuated before telling first responders about one more person trapped in the house, Uttaro said.
First responders attempted to enter the home to rescue the victim but had to withdraw due to the worsening conditions, Uttaro said.
“Firefighters and police tried to make entry as best they can, but the conditions were too severe to make a safe entry, be able to get in and make some type of rescue,” Uttaro said.
A downed power line partially covered the front walkway to the house, Uttaro said.
The first engine to respond to the scene and try to get water on the fire was dealing with a faulty fire hydrant before a second engine could quickly find a working hydrant and provide a water supply, Uttaro said.
Over 60 firefighters responded to the scene. It took about 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control, Uttaro said.
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Additional responding departments came from Floral Park, South Floral Park, Garden City, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Williston Park, Franklin Square and West Hempstead.
No first responders were injured on the scene.
The seven people inside the home were sent to either Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park or Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow for varying degrees of smoke inhalation before being released, Uttaro said.
Investigations are currently ongoing to determine the cause of the fire and the cause of death of the victim, said Uttaro, a resident of the village and trustee on the board.
“I arrived probably 15 minutes after the call and it was a very heavy volume of fire throughout the entire house,” he said.