Written by Owen W. McGee Friday, 26 November 2010 00:00
Shortly before 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22, 911 received a report of a house on fire on Arrow Lane in Hicksville and minutes later nine people were left homeless.
The Hicksville Fire Department received the alarm at 3:02 p.m. and all units were dispatched following a general alarm. Police, already on the scene, reported fire showing on the first floor.
Assistant Chief Frank McGeough arrived on the scene and confirmed a working fire and subsequently requested three engine companies and two ladder companies as soon as possible. Hose Company Four and Ladder Company One from the Levittown Parkway Station 4 were on the scene in minutes, as they discovered heavy fire showing on the first floor before deploying hose lines on the home.
All occupants of the home had been confirmed to be out of the structure safely before water began flowing to the second floor, where an explosion ripped through the house just as water hit the home.
Firefighters said the blast was so intense that the three escape route ladders placed near the windows were completely melted and the stairs in the house were burned away.
The quickly moving fire soon destroyed a large portion of the roof and soon spread to a neighboring home, which required one hose line to be deployed at the adjacent property.
Forty-eight Hicksville firefighters were on the scene within minutes with seven additional pieces of apparatus. Departments from Westbury, Jericho, Bethpage and Plainview assisted at the scene while equipment from Levittown, East Meadow and Jericho was on call at the Hicksville Headquarters for additional alarms.
The Fire Marshal and Arson Squad reported to the scene to determine the cause. The Town of Oyster Bay Building Department Inspector was also on the scene to determine if the home should be demolished. Hicksville Fire Department Chief Edward Korona requested the Red Cross to assist the nine people rendered homeless as a result of the fire.
Korona, who was in charge at the scene and was assisted by Assistant Chief McKeough, stated the fire might have started from an iron that was in use at the time on the first floor.