Friday, 17 December 2010 00:00
The Mineola Volunteer Fire Department was certainly put to the test recently. On Friday Dec.3, the firefighters were busy preparing for Santa’s grand entrance atop Engine 163 for the Village Tree lighting. After bringing in Santa and his friends, the firefighters responded to an interior natural gas leak at the Fairhaven apartments at 7:28 p.m.
Under the direction of Assistant Chief Joseph Pratt, the department located a leaking gas line in one of the apartments and shut down the gas service. The firefighters then vented the building to remove the high concentration of natural gas, which had accumulated.
A few hours later the department was alerted for smoke in the house on Garfield Avenue. An unattended pot on the stove created an acrid smoke condition throughout the house. The condition was corrected as firefighters removed the burning food and cleared the smoke out of the house.
On Saturday Dec. 4, the department started the day at 8:49 a.m. with an Automatic Fire Alarm on Roselle Street. At 1:26 p.m., they were alerted for a reported house fire on Roosevelt Place. Second Assistant Chief Jeff Clark began responding and was advised by FireCom that Nassau County Police were on scene reporting a working fire with people trapped.
Chief Clark transmitted a signal 10, working house fire. Chief Clark arrived on scene to find a large body of fire showing out the first floor windows rapidly extending to the second floor.
Police officers and a passing Glenwood FD Chief advised Chief Clark that all occupants were out of the house. Engine 162 arrived on scene and began stretching a hose line to attack the quickly escalating fire.
Ex-Chief Louis Santosus operated the pump panel as firefighters Michael Demartino and Ryan Traina stretched the first line. Ladder 165 arrived next and Lt. Matt Sanderleaf met the engine at the door as the first line entered the house.
Fire was visible in two rooms as the crew started an aggressive interior attack. Chief Clark directed a crew to stretch a protection hose-line to protect the adjacent homes from the impinging flames.
The fire burned through the electrical service line causing it to disconnect from the house and begin sparking on the ground. Despite the increased danger, firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to the adjacent home.
Truck Company Captain Carl Nunziata assigned crews to search the basement and three floors of the house for any victims or fire extension. Ex-Captain Mark Danielson and Firefighter Liam Clark searched the first floor for victims and fire.
Ex-Chief Tom Behan located fire extending from the first floor to the second floor and called for an additional hose-line. Engine Co#3 Lt. Bill Symington led firefighters Mike Eich, Mike DeStefano and Nicole DeStefano as they stretched an additional hose line to the second floor.
With three hose-lines now in operation, ex-Chief Michael DeStefano and ex-Captain Jack Fernandes insured an adequate water supply was established. Chief of Department Robert Connolly arrived on scene and assumed Incident Command.
A command post was established and Ex-Chief Scott Strauss assisted with the coordination of incoming resources as Chief Connolly directed the department operations. An additional ladder company from the Williston Park Fire Department, a FAS Team from Garden City Park Fire Department, and an ambulance from Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to the scene.
The Williston Park Truck Company was assigned to the roof to initiate a vent hole. Garden City Park also went to work relieving the initial attack line after the fire was knocked down. The fire was contained to the first and second floors but extensive smoke and water damage resulted in the home being uninhabitable.
The American Red Cross responded to the scene and provided emergency housing for the displaced residents. The Nassau County Fire Marshal was also called to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.
During the fire, Garden City and New Hyde Park Fire Departments responded to Mineola headquarters to cover the village in the event of another alarm. As Mineola units went back into service, an Automatic Fire Alarm was received and Chief Connolly assigned Engine 167 and Truck 168 to investigate.
All Mineola FD units were back in service at 3:50 p.m. as the members went to work replenishing air tanks and packing hose. It was not long before the fourth alarm at 4:08 p.m.
A reported dumpster fire was burning in the rear of a business on Jericho Turnpike. Engine 162 stretched line and Lt. Joseph Monez directed the firefighters as they extinguished this fire.
Sunday, Dec. 5, was also a busy day in Mineola with the first Automatic Fire Alarm coming in at 1:43 a.m. The second alarm of the day was a reported house fire on Grant Avenue at 3:19 p.m.
Nassau County Police on scene requested a forthwith response for an oven fire. Assistant Chief Clark arrived on scene to find fire burning inside a gas oven due to a ruptured service line.
The fire was extinguished without further extension outside the appliance and the gas service was shut down. The third alarm was another Automatic Fire Alarm at 10:09 p.m.
In the first five days of December, the Mineola Fire Department answered 14 alarms. Year to date, the Mineola Fire Department has answered 521 alarms.