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Fire erupts at Big Chief Camp in East Meadow


Fire broke out at the Big Chief Camp on North Jerusalem Road in East Meadow Wednesday morning, causing campers and staff to evacuate to St. Raphael’s Parish on Newbridge Road.

Eight fire departments reported to the scene after receiving a call at 11:22 a.m. North Bellmore Fire Chief Brendan Narell said the fire was dealt with “quickly.” “The fire was in the rear [of the camp] and contained to the one building,” he said.

Narell reported that no injuries were sustained from either campers or fire personnel, and that everyone inside the camp was evacuated in less than three minutes.

“I have an amazing staff that practices [fire safety drills] every day,” said an owner of the camp, who declined to be identified. “In under four minutes, every child was evacuated to the nearby church, and all of them were accounted for.”

A post on the camp’s Facebook page indicated to parents to call the church at (516) 785-0236 if they had any questions or if they were unable to pick up their child right away.

Fire departments from Bellmore, East Meadow, Levittown, Merrick, North Bellmore, North Merrick, Uniondale and Wantagh responded to the scene. Members of the Bellmore-Merrick Emergency Medical Services unit were also on standby.

The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause.