Stubborn house fire needed exterior attack
A two-story, wood-frame house was completely gutted by a multiple-alarm blaze that required a Stang gun and seven hand lines to extinguish. The building s 19 residents escaped without injuries.
The North Amityville, N.Y., Fire Company received the alarm at 1 p.m. on May 20. While en route to the fire, Chief Dennis Nash radioed for mutual aid from the Amityville Village Fire Department to ensure adequate manpower. When Nash arrived at 1:03 p.m., fire was coming out of the entire west side of the building.
A piano obstructed the front door of the structure, forcing fire fighters to make an interior attack through the basement. “It was like a maze,” commented Nash, “the floor was divided into various cubicles.” Using 30 air bottles, fire fighters knocked down the fire in both the basement and the first floor. The building’s second floor collapsed and fire fighters had to evacuate and surround and drown the fire.
A total of 50 fire fighters with eight pieces of apparatus including four class A pumpers, an 85-foot aerial, a heavy rescue vehicle, an ambulance and a utility van brought the blaze under control within the first hour. Overhaul operations took an additional four hours.
The incident was determined to have been started by either faulty wiring or a smoking accident. It is believed that the fire began in the basement and traveled through the piping system which ran through the structure’s main support beams.