A Cop Noticed Smoke And Evacuated Residents

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Eight people are homeless after a fire erupted at a boarding house in Hempstead, Long Island, early Saturday morning.

A police officer was on patrol just before 1:30 a.m. when he saw smoke coming out of the one-story, white house on Cornwall Lane, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported. He alerted those inside, and all got out safely.

“I’m happy everyone is alive and well, and that’s the main thing,” the home’s owner told Hall. “That’s what it’s all about right now until they investigate and find out what happened.”

Officials are investigating and believe the blaze is suspicious. The fire started in the back of the house, they said.

“I was sleeping. Woke up. I thought I smelled smoke. I heard ‘boom.’ We all ran out,” resident Denzel Cendrecourt told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell.

Added Theodore Alston: “We’ve been going one by one to gather our things. And Red Cross has been helpful and they’re housing us, and that’s a blessing.”

Helping with the probe is Umi, a Labrador retriever from the K-9 unit that is trained to detect accelerants and other flammable liquids.

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