Elderly man dies in Bethpage fire

October 21, 2008 8:24:36 AM PDT
An elderly man was trapped when flames consumed his Bethpage house Tuesday morning. The heavy flames shot through the house on Suzanne Lane just after 1:30 a.m., trapping 91-year-old Salvatore Alu in his second floor bedroom.

Alu's 56-year-old son Robert and Nassau County police tried to rescue the victim, but were blocked by the fire and smoke.

Alu was pronounced dead at the scene. The son sustained minor burns to his hands.

Authorities say one volunteer firefighter from the Bethpage Fire Department also suffered a serious thumb fracture and will require surgery.

The house had no smoke detectors, Nassau County Fire Marshal Vincent McManus said. The house was an older construction and not required to have the detectors.

The cause was likely either "careless smoking, electrical or a portable heater," McManus said.

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