Wind-Fanned Flames Destroy Westbury House

A good chunk of the roof was consumed. (Photos by Frank Rizzo)

A fire broke out at a house on Evelyn Avenue in Westbury on Monday, March 15 at 4:20 a.m. Nassau County Police Department Third Precinct officers responded and observed the structure fully engulfed in flames and all residents safely out of the house. Due to the severity of the fire, officers evacuated the surrounding homes.

Carle Place Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Mike Geddish had command of the fire, which occurred within the Carle Place district.

The damage was most extensive to the north side of the house.

“I was the first unit on scene as I live around the corner on Bert Avenue, and immediately transmitted a working fire and requested our first alarm assignments, which included mutual aid from Westbury, Mineola and Garden City,” Geddish wrote. “On arrival, there was a large amount of fire on the left exterior side of the house that was making its way into the attic space via the soffit, as well as the interior of the first and second floors. All of the residents and pets were out of the house. Our engine and ladder were on scene within minutes and began to stretch hand lines to begin to extinguish the fire.”

Geddish continued, “The first line knocked the fire out on the first floor. The second line helped control the exterior fire, and then went to the second floor, with personnel from Westbury to knock the fire on that floor as well as the attic space. Other members from Westbury used an additional line to help control the exterior fire as well as the spread to the adjacent properties. Garden City stretched a third interior line to the second floor. The majority of the fire was controlled in about 45 minutes. Additional units from Roslyn, East Williston, Williston Park and Hempstead were brought to the scene to assist with overhaul and check for pockets of fire. Mineola served as the firefighter assist and search team (FAST). Extensive overhaul lasted for approximately two hours.”

The fire extended into the attic.

According to Geddish, “The heavy wind played a huge factor in the rapid growth of the fire, and contributed to the extension to the neighboring yards siding, fences and landscapes. All companies on scene made an aggressive push, which was a major factor in the success of the operation. All things considered, we were fortunate that there was no true spread to the interior/structure of the adjacent houses. No one was hurt.”

According to the NCPD Arson/Bomb Squad, other responding departments included Jericho, Manhasset-Lakeville, Albertson, North Merrick and Port Washington. The investigation is ongoing.

Michael Devulpillieres, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, said his agency helped one family consisting of four people with emergency funds for hotel, food, clothing and other basic needs.

—Submitted by the Nassau County Police Department and Carle Place Fire Department

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  1. This was my house. The Red Cross gave us 500$ on a card and each of my kids a Mickey Mouse and while we appreciate it this article makes it seem like they did a lot more for us then they did. They told us the 500$ would cover a hotel for 2 nights and after that we were on our own. No housing, clothes nothing. They said that was all they could do.

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