Fatal fire on Long Island

January 27, 2009 2:56:01 PM PST
Fire officials say a house fire on Long Island has killed one person and injured another.Fire officials say the victim, who was a single father to his 20 year old son, had time to get out of the house but didn't because he was trying to battle the flames himself.

"I heard Michael screaming 'Dad, Dad, open the door'," said neighbor, Debra Machado.

Neighbors heard 20-year-old Michael Sinclair begging outside of his burning home for his dad to open the door Tuesday morning but the horrific fire , officials say, left little time to escape.

Precious time they say Michael's father used up trying to save his house.

"It's not ever suggested. You have seconds to escape. This is an example of what goes tragically wrong," said the Fire Marshal.

It took more than 100 firefighters to knock down the flames that erupted around 7 a.m. inside this small two story house on Pilgrim Lane in Westbury. Authorities are investigating as to whether a candle on the first floor caused the fatal fire that spread to the home next door.

Debra Machado says it happened so fast. "There was only a little puff of smoke and within ten minutes the whole house engulfed in flames."

At that point fire Crews stormed into the house to search for the homeowner but later brought his lifeless body out.

Authorities found the body upstairs but say according to his son he had been on the first floor several times and had a chance to get out safely, but tried to use water from upstairs to put out the fire.

The house is a total loss, but neighbors worry about the survivor, Michael. He lost his mother two years ago to cancer and now his father to the tragic fire.

The Red Cross is reaching out to Michael for care. He lived alone here with his father.

Eyewitness News is told he worked for Ford as a car salesman.

Web produced by: Scott Curkin


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