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Farmingdale Basement Blaze:

YouTube Video Puts Farmingdale On the Map

While many enjoyed a relaxing sabbatical, this holiday season, the Farmingdale Fire Department was hard at work. On Dec. 28, firefighters were called to a blaze at 11 Vernon Street that emerged from inside the basement of the house. 

 

Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Tortoso was the first to arrive. Storming into the first floor of the house, Chief Tortoso secured the building, making sure nobody was trapped inside.  

 

At the scene, Fire Squad 924 Captain Ryan Tortoso led his crew to stretch a hose line to the back of the house, where the bilco doors were left open in order to vent out the smoke.

 

Capt. Tortoso said the nozzle team made an aggressive attack towards the basement to locate, confine and extinguish the flames. 

 

Because of the think clouds of smoke billowing out from inside the basement, Capt. Tortoso—equipped with a thermal imaging camera—noticed the basement had been subdivided into an apartment. 

 

Based on this, firefighters with Ladder Company 926 were able to open up the walls to check for any fire extension in the basement to the first floor. 

 

“It got warm inside the basement, but we knew we had to make an aggressive attack to save the rest of the house and whatever we could in the basement,” Tortoso said.

 

Farmingdale Firefighters, along with mutual aid assistance from East Farmingdale, South Farmingdale, Bethpage, Plainview, Massapequa and North Massapequa Fire Departments, successfully put out the fire and prevented it from spreading any further. 

 

“All companies did a great job at this fire,” Capt. Tortoso added.

 

Investigators with the Nassau County Fire Marshall’s office later determined that the fire originated from an electrical surge, after power was restored from a local outage. 

 

Strapped with a helmet-cam, 19-year-old volunteer fireman John Senia was able to capture the nozzle team’s attack on film. 

 

The next day, Senia posted the 23-minute video onto YouTube, and in just over a week’s time the video garnered over 11,000 views. 

 

“I think it’s great the amount of views it’s getting,” said Capt. Tortoso. “The views and comments we have been getting nationwide have been very positive and show how training reflects upon our daily operations.”

 

Tortoso also said that it is the responsibility of a firefighter to protect themself, their fellow firemen, civilian life, and property when in the face of a fire. 

 

“We’re getting a lot of credit for it,” said Senia, about the rising popularity of his YouTube video. “I’m happy to be around such a great group of guys and that the whole operation ran as smoothly as it did.”

 

According to Senia, the video shows people just how much the department’s weekly training exercises have paid off and captures the type of outcome that every firefighter strives for. 

 

“Saving the house, like we did... that is the outcome we should be having,” he said.

 

Senia currently attends Nassau Community College, where he studies fire science with the hope of one day joining the ranks of the New York City Fire Department. 

News

After spotting an abandoned cemetery at the corner of Grant Avenue and Rose Street in the heart of downtown Farmingdale, resident Vicki Gruber became inspired to trace the lineage of the Van Cott family—some of the earliest settlers in the Farmingdale community. Gruber, a corporate and securities attorney, said that after approaching the village about the history of the cemetery, she took it upon herself to do the research. Compiling three or four years worth of newfound information, Gruber discovered that each of the 16 plots in the cemetery are direct descendants of Claes Cornelissen Van Cats, a Dutch settler and firm believer in democracy, home rule and civil liberty. 

Farmingdale village officials will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 1, to reexamine school speed zones throughout the village, in order to establish a consistent school speed zone limit. 


Sports

At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


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