4-alarm fire in Albertson disrupts LIRR, power

Dray Clark reports from Albertson.
January 25, 2014 5:50:57 AM PST
At least 20 people were left homeless by a four-alarm fire Friday night in a townhouse complex in Albertson, Long Island.

Firefighters worked late into the night to douse hot spots after the fire at 153 I.U. Willets Road that began around 6:18 p.m. At least four units were destroyed.

12 fire departments operated on the scene with 150 firefighters.

Firefighters ran door-to-door urgently ushering neighbors out of their homes.

"It was a pretty scary and it went really quickly," said Maggie Messina, a neighbor.

"Worrying about the unit was the one thing, very lucky with the wind blowing that way tonight," said Thaddeus Cashin, a neighbor.

Firefighters faced extreme conditions, frozen power lines, frozen streets, frozen hoses and equipment.

They ran hoses over the LIRR tracks near the Albertson station, so service was temporarily suspended on the Oyster Bay Branch.

PSE&G Long Island had to cut power to the area and remove some power lines so tower ladders could fight the fire.

Around 1,250 customers were temporarily without power. By 11:30 p.m. all customers, except those in the townhouses, had their power restored.

Edward Scott and his family were in the dark with no heat, on a freezing cold night for quite a while.

"It's only power. They lost their house. So, we'll see how long it takes for the power to come back on," Scott said.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. The Red Cross is helping displaced residents get relocated.

An investigation continues into the cause of the fire.