On Wednesday January 21 at about 12:30 PM, with snow and ice starting to make local roads impassable, the Dix Hills Fire Department received a call about a house filling with smoke. While the homeowners safely evacuated, initial responding fire units skidded their way to the scene. Upon arrival they found heavy smoke pushing from the home and a fully involved fire in the basement.
About 40 volunteer firefighters battled the blaze and the freezing temperatures, under the command of Dix Hills Fire Chief Tom Napolitano. Firefighters from departments around the area including Dix Hills, Melville, and Greenlawn fought the blaze, with Huntington Manor, Commack, and Commack Community Ambulance providing standby coverage. Suffolk County fire coordinators were also on scene to provide assistance.
According to Chief Napolitano, “Fighting this fire was certainly complicated by the weather. Getting our manpower and equipment to the scene during the snowstorm, over the icy roads, was our first challenge. On arrival we faced strong winds and plummeting temperatures turning everything on scene to ice. Then our firefighters had to face the hazards of burning holes in the floors of the house, to get to the advanced basement fire.”
Firefighters had the blaze under control in about an hour. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Story and photos by Dix Hills FD