Flames ripped through a Melville home Wednesday afternoon, completely gutting the rear of the house.
The Melville Fire Department received a call for an automatic fire alarm at 26 Gwyne Road shortly after 2 p.m.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the homeowner in the driveway with her four dogs as heavy smoke billowed out of the house, Melville's second assistant chief, Jason Bernfeld, said.
Additional crews from Dix Hills, Huntington Manor and Plainview were called in to assist in the fire as members of the East Farmingdale Fire Department manned the Melville headquarters.
Melville's first assistant chief Mike McKeefrey, led the efforts of about 45 firefighter in extinguishing the blaze.
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Bernfeld said that the heaviest flames were discovered in the kitchen and living room. Firefighters put out the blaze within about 20 minutes, he added.
Firefighters were able to place the four dogs into one of the department's vehicles to keep them away from the flames and smoke. The homeowner also has three horses, who were uninjured, and a cat who is still missing. "We turned the place upside down, but couldn't find it," Bernfeld said.
Neither the homeowner nor her animals were hurt in the fire, but one firefighter was taken to Huntington Hospital after he experienced trouble breathing while at the scene of the fire. He is now in stable condition.
Arson investigators are searching for the cause of the fire.