Huge fire after truck slams into home in Selden

March 13, 2013 9:14:01 AM PDT
A Long Island man is under arrest and a firefighter will have to rebuild his home for the second time in the past year after the suspect crashed a car into the house, sparking a massive fire Tuesday evening.

Police say 35-year-old Anthony Capuano was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs after his red pickup truck slammed into the Selden home just after 7 p.m.

Volunteer firefighter Michael Cosgrove, who earned Suffolk County's highest honor for valor for a rescue last year, responded to the call only to make the awful realization that it was his home on fire.

The flames lit up the night sky after the accident, with Capuano barely missing a tree that would've spared the house and instead crashing directly into the spot where a natural gas line was feeding the home.

The initial call came in with a different address, and Cosgrove thought he was responding to a neighbor's home. But when he arrived on scene, he realized the terrible reality.

Luckily, his wife and two young children had escaped the fire, which he set to put out. It was a devastating loss for a man who risks his life to save others.

"This house fire happening, no fault of my own," Cosgrove said. "It wasn't anything that my family did. It was carelessness of someone else. It kind of leaves me aggravated, angry a little bit. But everybody's okay. It's all material things that can be replaced."

Police say Capuano was determined to be high and was arrested on the spot.

Last year, Cosgrove won an award from Suffolk County legislators for saving an unconscious man from a burning house.

He now has to start from scratch at a home he already rebuilt one after Hurricane Sandy.

Capuano is charged with DWAI and second-degree reckless endangerment.