Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 27 May 2011 00:00
Members of the Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department had a rough night this past Thursday. After a rigorous session of training at the Nassau County Fire Service Academy in Old Bethpage, most guys probably wanted nothing more than to go home and rest. Instead, after training to battle a fire on a row of buildings, they got the call to the real thing at 67 Glen Street.
Chief Anthony Tripp spoke to the Record Pilot after the fire. He said that one of the toughest things that night was overcoming fatigue.
“The training fires are very tough in fire school,” Tripp said. “They make them tough so you really learn – it teaches guys what to do in rough scenarios. By the time we got done with school and people got home it was probably after 11 p.m. Some guys went for something to eat. Some people probably went to bed. I know I fell asleep on the couch for a few minutes when the horn blew at 12:30 a.m. and they were yelling on the radio that people could be trapped on the roof.”
But, the firefighters bounced back into action. The chief said that their training that day was on a similar fire, a row of storefronts with apartments above and a common attic. They put their learning to the test when they battled the hot and smoky blaze. Tripp said that the common attic in buildings like that makes a fire spread fast, as it did in this case. But, they were able to contain it to 67 Glen Street, with major damage to 65 ½ and 69. There was damage to six apartments and four businesses in all, according to Nassau County Police.
There was mutual aid from five fire companies and EMS got assistance from 7 ambulance companies. This was because about 70 people were evacuated, with over 10 civilians injured and one fireman treated for heat exhaustion and one with a burn to the foot.
“But everybody did a great job and worked very well together under those circumstances. We were exhausted, but there was very good cooperation,” said Tripp.
The fire was deemed unsuspicious according the Nassau County Arson and Bomb Squad. They determined that the fire started on a stovetop, where something left on the stove was heated by the pilot light, ultimately causing the whole kitchen to ignite.
From the large group of evacuees, many people are now homeless.
Mutual Aid included: Sea Cliff (Engine), Glenwood (FAST), Roslyn Rescue (Ladder) Locust Valley (Ambulance and Engine), Syosset (Ambulance), Jericho (Ambulance) and Mineola VAC (Ambulance).