At 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, Chief William Watts of the Floral Park Volunteer Fire Department responded to an investigation for wires burning on a pole in front of an Oak Street residence. Upon his arrival, the wire from the pole to 201 Oak Street had burnt through and was on the ground. Nothing out of the ordinary but any firefighter will tell you "no two fires are the same." Ex-Chief Lou Scilabba was also on the scene and Chief Watts checked the house as a precaution. Upon noticing a slight haze in the attached garage, Chief Watts requested Fire Com to alert the Floral Park Volunteer Fire Department of a general alarm - all units were requested to respond.
Floral Park volunteer firefighters battled a stubborn Oak Street house fire Feb. 9, with mutual aid provided by New Hyde Park, Stewart Manor, Elmont, Franklin Square and Garden City Park.
As the department responded, the haze became more noticeable and a distinct burning odor was detected in the vicinity of the garage and the western side of the house. Chief Watts transmitted a "signal 10" or working fire to alert all responding units of the worsening situation. Upon arrival, Reliance Engine Company stretched a hose line through the front door, positioning the line between the attached garage and the kitchen and den areas of the house. A second hose line was stretched to the second floor above the garage and a third to help combat the fire in the garage.
A stubborn and difficult-to-reach fire was burning in the garage's ceiling, extending to the second floor master bedroom and across the breezeway toward the kitchen. Floral Park's Hook & Ladder Company had their hands full, as extensive opening up of the walls and ceiling was necessary to expose the rapidly advancing blaze.
New Hyde Park provided mutual aid for a ladder company to assist at the scene, as did Franklin Square, which provided a FAST (Firefighter Assist and Search Team) team to standby and assist any firefighter in distress. Stewart Manor was also called in for mutual aid for an additional ambulance while Elmont provided an engine and ambulance for standby at Floral Park's headquarters in case of additional calls in town. The stubborn fire put Franklin Square to work; Garden City Park was called in to replace them as a FAST team.
The garage, breezeway and second floor master bedroom suffered major damage as well as water and smoke damage throughout the dwelling. The training and perseverance of Floral Park's volunteer firefighters was evident as the blaze was confined to the western side of the house. No injuries to any residents or firefighters were reported.