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Police & Fire

More Than 150 Evacuated After Fire At East Meadow Summer Camp

Big Chief Nursery School and Camp
Big Chief Nursery School and Camp Photo Credit: Google Maps

More than 150 children and counselors were forced to safely evacuate a Long Island nursery school after it caught fire in East Meadow.

Big Chief Nursery School and Camp caught fire at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, on North Jerusalem Road near the intersection of Newbridge Road. Each of the campers and the counselors were able to evacuate the building safely before first responders arrived.

The fire broke out in the rear of the camp and was contained to one building, fire officials noted. No injuries were sustained by campers, counselors or firefighters. The camp was evacuated in under three minutes.

The children and counselors were temporarily transported to nearby St. Raphael’s Church, where their parents were able to pick them up.


“Good morning parents: Today we had a fire at Big Chief,” the camp posted on Facebook. “ALL the kids and staff are fine. However, we need you to pick up your children at St Raphael's church in the back. Please see Luanne, Josephine, Lauren or Melanie. Again i want everyone to understand EVERYONE is ok. Thank you. Any questions or your unable to pick up right away please call the church at 516 785-0236 and they will alert our staff at Big Chief. Thank you.”

Fire crews from Bellmore, East Meadow, Levittown, Merrick, North Bellmore, North Merrick, Uniondale, and Wantagh responded to the scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Check Daily Voice for updates.

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