Roof Fire Breaks Out at Former Rehabilitation Center

Roofer working on renovations suffered minor injuries, according to officials.

A worker was injured putting out a fire on the roof of the former Excel Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy building in West Islip Monday morning, fire officials said.

A repairman working on the roof at the time suffered minor burns, West Islip Fire Chief Blaise Gemellaro said. It was not known how many people were inside the building when the fire started just after 11 a.m.

Children at the Tutor Time center next door were evacuated to Atlantic Auto Mall, officials said.

The building, located on Sunrise Highway in the South Bay Commons, is currently undergoing renovations, fire officals said.

The fire did not spread, and other stores did not appear to suffer damage, Gemellaro said.

Firefighters from West Islip and Bay Shore placed the fire under control.

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation, though fire officials said preliminary details indicate the fire was started by roofers working on the roof.

Jim March 26, 2012 at 05:21 PM
great job west islip fire department. we are looking forward to west islips fds first annual easter egg hunt at library fields this saturday 1O am $5per child
Kaitlyn Piccoli (Editor) March 26, 2012 at 09:04 PM
From West Islip Patch's Facebook page: "Thank God for the amazing staff at Tutor Time! I just picked up my son at the Auto Mall where all the kids were evacuated to. They were SAFE and in good spirits! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!" - Genevieve Cesa
Peter Loffman March 26, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I work at the Automall and as soon as we saw the kids all sitting on the lawn, Dan Toomey our General Manager brought them all inside the dealership and sent some employees to babies r us to pick up diapers and baby food. Also ordered pizza and drinks for the older children.
Marianne Bowden March 26, 2012 at 10:44 PM
OMG how sweet. Glad to know it all worked out and the kids will have some story to tell at dinner tonight.
Gerry March 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Nice to hear there were kind neighbors around to lend a hand.
ronnie kind March 27, 2012 at 12:41 AM
A big shout out to Atlantic Auto Mall for allowing my kids and the others to stay there until they needed. As someone in familiar with roofing , I believe the roofers may have been installing torch down roofing- which they shouldnt have been because the winds were too strong. Hope this is investigated properly.
JOHN THE ROOFER April 03, 2012 at 05:15 PM


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