Several hundreds occupants of an apartment complex at 45 Jackson Street in the Village of Hempstead, New York were forced from their homes during this early morning fire on Thursday, January 20, 2005.
While responding, units were advised of possible people trapped, a report that was later found to be false.
On arrival, units found numerous tenants on the fire escapes and many hurrying from their apartments down darkening hallways.
Along with icy cold temperatures and a strong, gusty wind, firefighters were hampered by an out-of-service standpipe connection. They were forced to hand stretch from the street in an effort to bring this stubborn blaze under control.
Mutual aid was requested from several surrounding department and additional firefighters strengthened the effort.
Three firefighters were transported to local hospitals with minor burns and smoke inhalation.
Chief George Sandas of the Hempstead Fire Department was in command.