East Meadow

Stubborn Early Morning Blaze Puts E.M.F.D. Volunteers to the Test

On Saturday morning at 12:54 am, radios and cell phones rang out for all stations announcing a house fire on Stephen Marc Lane.

Within minutes, all four EMFD Chiefs, led by Chief of Department Philip Fertitta and his Assistant Chiefs, James Walsh, Michael Wood, and Kurt Becker, were on the road.

Just 4 minutes after the alert, first due Engine 612 was on the road soon followed by Engine 614, Ladder 617, Engine 611, Ladder 619, Ambulance 615, Engine 613, Heavy Rescue 616, Ambulance 6144, and Ambulance 6115, filling out the 1st alarm assignment.

As Chief Walsh approached the home, is was clear that a major fire was in progress prompting his radio transmission of a Signal 10. (Working Fire: Re-alert initial response, alerting a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT), and various mutual aids from surrounding towns).

The crew from engine 612 quickly dropped their attack hoses and moved to a hydrant water supply, as Ladder 617’s crew began throwing ladders and confirming reports that all residents were out.

East Meadow’s Incident Command Post was established under the direction of Ex Chief Griffin to pool all additional manpower, and establish the resources needed for Chief Fertitta in charge.

With hose lines charged, crews mounted an aggressive attack, with the fire already taking a hold of the hidden voids of the attic. Soon into the operation, firefighters had to back out as a section of the home on the right side began to collapse. On two occasions, Safety Officers called for the accountability of firefighters to be sure all were out.

Firefighters were able to reposition their attack on the exterior, as temperatures dropped below freezing.

In all, 83 East Meadow volunteers responded to the blaze with another 30 more firefighters from neighboring towns either providing support at the scene, or standing by in the emptied East Meadow fire stations in the event of any other alarms.

Fire damage to the home was extensive on the right side and the attic.

Fire Departments from Merrick, Hicksville, North Merrick, Uniondale, North Bellmore, and Levittown assisted in the mutual aid plan.

The Nassau County Fire Marshals were on scene, as well as PSEG, Nassau County Police, National Grid, and Nassau County Building Department.

The EMFD Ladies Auxiliary were on scene serving firefighters energy and hot drinks during the fire.

There were no injuries.

Photos by EMFD