Firefighters contend with snow, frigid conditions
The beginning of the new year has proven to be a busy one for Floral Park firefighters. In addition to the normal large volume of medical-aided cases that the Rescue Company handles, the fire department has responded to motor vehicle accidents, carbon monoxide alarms, gas leaks, and several major house fires.
In addition to these alarms, the department has been placed on two snow standbys; all in less than a month’s time. During most of these calls, firefighters have operated in frigid temperatures and significant snowfalls.
On Saturday, Jan. 4 at approximately 12:33 p.m., the fire department was dispatched to 61 Violet Ave. for a report of a bedroom fire. Upon arrival of 2nd Assistant Chief Brian Naughton, a working fire was transmitted to responding units.
Firefighters encountered a fully involved attic fire which began to burn through the roof. Due to an aggressive attack by members, the fire was contained to the attic of the residence. However, the residence did sustain other damage due to the extinguishment efforts. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. The fire department was assisted by neighboring departments as part of their mutual aid procedure.
Then on Thursday, Jan. 23 shortly after 7 p.m., the fire department was dispatched to 263 Whittier Ave. for a report of a house fire. A member who happened to be in the area arrived on scene quickly and reported a working fire. Second Assistant Chief Naughton arrived on scene moments later and transmitted a working fire to responding units. Heavy smoke was observed pushing out of the “cape” style residence with fire reported to be on the second floor of the house.
Upon arrival of the first-due engine and ladder companies, members went right to work to attack the fire. Firefighters initially had to overcome several frozen fire hydrants in the area.
The fire, which reportedly had been burning for some time unbeknownst to the resident, traveled up the inside of the walls and into an attic “void” space. Firefighters attempted an aggressive interior attack on the fire, but due to the fact the fire was well advanced on arrival and the difficulty accessing it, the fire started to burn through the roof.
Due to the volume of fire and concerns about the structural integrity of the house, a decision was made by the Command Post to remove members from the house and began an exterior attack on the fire. In extremely icy conditions, firefighters used a tower ladder and numerous hand lines to douse the fire.
The roof and façade of the house did ultimately collapse shortly after members were removed.
After a lengthy operation, the fire was placed under control.
One Floral Park firefighter was transported to Winthrop University Hospital for treatment of a minor injury.
Once again, the Fire Department was assisted by neighboring departments.
The cause of both of these fires is under investigation by The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office. The Floral Park Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to once again remind residents of the importance of having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home.
An easy way to remember to change the batteries is to do so when you change your clocks for daylight savings time. If you can’t remember when you last changed your batteries, change them now. The cost of a few batteries is all it takes to ensure the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.
Residents are also reminded that they are required to dig out fire hydrants if they have one in front of their home. It is vital that firefighters can easily locate and access hydrants in the event of a fire emergency. This also reduces the chances of a hydrant freezing.