A two-story building at the corner of Broadway and Princeton Avenue caught fire before noon on Tuesday, sending thick plumes of smoke in the air and closing down the road in both directions.
A call for an odor of smoke came in at 11:46 a.m. to the Hewlett Fire Department, according to a release from the department. When Chief Ethan Lahey arrived at the scene, he saw a heavy smoke and fire condition in the apartments above the stores. The age and construction of the building caused the fire to spread faster to the area between the apartments and the roof.
Members attacked the main body of the fire in two lines and knocked it down in 15 minutes, the release said.
The cause of the fire does not appear to be suspicious, according to the department, but the Nassau County Fire Marshal was notified to investigate.
No injuries were reported and firefighters were back in service by 2:30 p.m.
Thirty-three residents were displaced following the fire, according to the American Red Cross, whose volunteers were on the scene to provide support. Of those helped, 29 people are being housed by the Red Cross in nearby motels and provided with funds for items like food and clothing.
Lahey said that due to the time of the day, amount of time and construction and age of the building, things could have been a lot worse.
“The men and women who operated today should be very proud of their efforts,” the release says.
Hewlett firefighters were assisted by the Inwood, Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Meadowmere, and Valley Stream fire departments, among others. Nassau County police officers were also on the scene.
Long Islanders wishing to help the Red Cross respond to disasters like fires can visit www.nyredcross.org or call (516) 747-3500.