The cause for a Floral Park fire on April 17 that destroyed six businesses cannot be determined due to damage to the building, although no suspicious activity is at play, the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office said.
Over 100 firefighters from 18 different departments in Nassau County rushed to 266 Jericho Turnpike to battle a four-alarm fire in the building. First responders got the blaze under control after 4 hours.
Because the building was built in 1960, it was exempt from current fire code regulations and was not equipped with fire alarms or fire sprinklers.
“If sprinklers were present, while you would have had some smoke and some damage, the sprinklers would have activated, suppressed the fire enough that the fire department could have gotten in there and probably completely extinguish that fire and we wouldn’t be talking about this in the situation that we have today,” Fire Marshal Chief Michael Uttaro told News12.
Floral Park Trustee Frank Chiara said the village’s fire department conducted fire inspections on the building in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. Village code requires buildings like 266 Jericho Turnpike to be inspected every three years.
If the building were to be rebuilt, it would not be grandfathered into the outdated fire codes and have to build at least a fire alarm and smoke detection system.
Several businesses were affected by the fire, including two on the first floor and more on both the second floor and in the basement. There were no residences in the building and all occupants at the time of the fire safely self-evacuated.
Firefighters were told to evacuate the building and attack the fire from outside due to worsening conditions in the basement. Buildings on either side of 266 Jericho only suffered moderate smoke damage.
No civilians were injured in the fire. Two firefighters were transported to local hospitals for minor injuries before being released. Three firefighters were evaluated at the scene but refused further medical attention.