Firefighter hurt when fire tears through 7 stores in Valley Stream

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, January 28, 2024
1 firefighter hurt when fire tears through 7 stores in Valley Stream
Raegan Medgie has the latest updates from Valley Stream.

VALLEY STREAM, Long Island (WABC) -- A firefighter was injured Saturday in a massive blaze that engulfed a row of stores in Valley Stream.

The five-alarm blaze swept through at least seven stores Saturday around 5:30 a.m. on Rockaway Avenue and prompted a large response, with 21 fire departments and 150 firefighters battling the flames.

Chief Patrick Scanlon of the Valley Stream Fire Department said the blaze began in the cockloft of a deli, an area between the ceiling and the roof. Once fire gets in there, it can be hard to put out because it can be spread through the whole building, he said, which is exactly what happened.

"We wound up stretching approximately five hose lines into the building to extinguish the fire. We had heavy tin ceilings we had to pull down," Scanlon said.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital with smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

It's devastating," said Susan Rohan, a resident.

"This is just a shame, these businesses were thriving," said Mary Hansen Sterger, a resident. "I woke up to a loud alarm, and the smoke pouring out of this building."

"Oh my gosh, we have been here for 19 years. We have frequented every single store," added Rohan.

One of the businesses damaged was Sam's Steakhouse. The owner is feeling lucky it wasn't worse for him.

"Thank God we had a brick wall, a fire wall on both sides, and we didn't have that much compared to other people," said Sheikh Ahmed.

"Everybody concerned because it affects the Valley Stream family," Hansen Sterger said.

"Bad things don't happen here. When it does, we all reach out see what's planned and chip in," Rohan said.

The family who owns deli didn't want to go on camera.

They are devastated, but are also touched by the community being willing to step in to help.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

ALSO READ | Community mourns dancer who died after eating mislabeled cookies from Stew Leonard's

Raegan Medgie has the story.


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