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West Islip Home Erupts In Flames, Three Firefighters Injured

Cause of fire on Bay Third Street not immediately known.

The calm of a summer Sunday afternoon in the southern section of West Islip was shattered as a home at 358 Bay Third St. erupted in flames.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze, according to Chief Scott Harvey. 

The fire started around 2:30 p.m. at the home, which was unoccupied at the time.  Five fire departments–West Islip, Bay Shore, North Babylon, Babylon and Deer Park–were at the scene to fight the fire, in part because of the sweltering temperatures outside, Harvey said.

"They can only be here for 15 to 20 minutes and then we have to rotate," Harvey said of keeping firefighters out of danger from the heat.

Damage to the home, located on the southeastern portion of the small street that borders the parking lot of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, was "pretty extensive," Harvey said, noting that flames were through the attic when West Islip firefighters arrived at the scene. "It was already pretty bad."

The three injured firefighters–two from West Islip and one from North Babylon–were taken to Good Samaritan and are all expected to be OK, Harvey said.

The fire was under control as of 4:30 p.m. and arson investigators are on the scene as the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, Harvey said.

One investigator told Patch that the location of the home–the last house on a dead end block and surrounded by tall trees–could mean that the fire was burning for a while before authorities were called.

A woman walking down Center Bay Drive toward the home nearly two hours after the fire started screamed: "It's my house. My house burnt down."


Kelly Perdue Rodriguez July 11, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Is there anyway we could find out who the family is? A few of my friends would love to help the family any way we can. Thanks
Scott July 11, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Kelly, it is actually my family's home (just my parent's now). Tell your friends that we appreciate your kindness but we will be ok. Nobody was home at the time and its just really hard on everyone right now but we're just very thankful that most things can be replaced. Again, thank you very much for your thoughts.
Barbara McNicholas July 11, 2011 at 01:37 AM
This is why I like Patch...instant news with photos and videos. Good work!
Scott July 11, 2011 at 01:38 AM
I would also like to add that I hope the 3 firefighters who were injured have a speedy recovery and we thank them for the effort and bravery shown. Five town's departments came to help out and I believe that shows how important these men and women are! Thank you very much everyone.
jc July 12, 2011 at 07:34 PM
I live right down the road on West Bay Drive...I went down there to see what was going on and I was getting different stories from different people...I am glad i went on here to know noone was in the house....One of the things I heard it started from an old air conditioning unit....I did see the firemen pass by me on stretchers. I am very glad to hear that noone was in the home when it happened ....Sorry Scott that this has happened to your family

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