Debris causes Woodmere fire

Space heaters are a safety hazard


One resident of a Woodmere apartment building suffered smoke inhalation, minor burns and disorientation after debris near a space heater caused a fire in the apartment on March 2, Woodmere Fire Department Chief Leonard Cherson said.

At 9 p.m., the fire department was alerted to the blaze at 1008 Central Ave. in Woodmere. “An 83-year-old man had a space heater in his bedroom in his apartment which was in the rear of the building,” Cherson said. “Due to large amounts of debris next to the space heater, it caught on fire.”

Second Assistant Chief Ben Nelson was the first firefighter who arrived at the apartment. “[Nelson] pulled the gentleman out and he had suffered smoke inhalation, minor burns and was disoriented,” Cherson said. “He was brought by ambulance to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.”

Though the fire was contained to the one apartment, Cherson said residents of the building were evacuated. By 11:30 p.m. they were able to return. Businesses located on the first floor of the building were not affected.

Cherson said this fire serves as another reminder about how dangerous space heaters are. “I wouldn’t advise people to use them at all,” he said. “But if you do, don’t keep them near flammables, make sure they’re Uniform Laboratory (UL)approved and that they’re ventilated properly. They can get very hot and cause a fire.”

Hewlett, Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Inwood and Meadowmere Park fire departments assisted at the scene.