Cause of Port Washington House Fire Remains Under Investigation

Fire started in basement, according to Port Washington Fire Department.

The cause of a fire that started in the basement of a Port Washington home Saturday remains under investigation by the Nassau County Fire Marshal, said Port Washington Fire Department Assistant Chief Ray Ryan.  

When firefighters arrived Saturday, they were confronted with heavy smoke and a building that included new construction, presenting multiple challenges to the crews.

Among the challenges:

  • Solar panels on the roof
  • Partitions that inhibited extinguishment
  • Construction that allowed the fire to spread
  • Atmospheric conditions that inhibited firefighters' efforts to ventilate the building

Ultimately, the home was engulfed in thick smoke.

At one point, a firefighter fell through a hole in the floor, but was pulled back. He was brought to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. A total of four firefighters were sent to the hospital, with symptoms ranging from elevated blood pressure to a head injury. All have been released.

There were no injuries to civilians. Neighbors took the family in, Ryan said.

Assisting the fight with Port Washington were crews from Manhasset, Plandome, Great Neck Alerts, Great Neck Vigilance, Garden City Park, Williston Park, Roslyn Rescue and Roslyn Heights. These neighboring firefighters were called for relief and labor purposes, Ryan said.  

Bryan Jay January 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Every time I hear the fire alarm go off in our town, I think of the brave, dedicated fireman that volunteer from our town and put their lives on the line to keep us all safe. We do not acknowledge them enough, and many residents just take it for granted. But our fireman are the best of the best in my book. Here is a good example of what they do for us day in and day out! Thanks guys for everything, we all appreciate it!!
Linda January 16, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Does anyone know why solar panels on the roof would present a challenge to the firefighters? Thanks.
sadeto January 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Firefighters often try to break through the roof to let smoke out.
Roger Goodwin January 16, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Ventilating the roof during a fire allows heat, fire and gases to escape. Solar panels can prevent this since they can cover large sections of roofs. The panels can also remain energized which presents obvious dangers to firefighters.
justanotherday January 16, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Wow. Just wow. Port Washington needed 8 other departments to fight a fire. As if Port Washington doesn't have enough equipment, vehicles, and firemen/ems. I am shocked that of all the money I pay, and they needed 8 other departments. This is why a paid fire department would work much better. No need for volunteers at all. Waste of money and time if you ask me.
randomhero!!! January 17, 2013 at 08:32 PM
@justanotherday, ur such a douche
NYB January 23, 2013 at 07:10 AM
Firefighters have a finite useful life on scene. Example, a typical air cylinder provides enough gas for about 20-30 minutes of work, as heat goes up and the physical difficulty of the activity increases air consumption goes up. The safety standards demand medical evaluation and rest after every used bottle. To fight this fire requires about 20 people in the building at one time, plus command staff, vehicle operators and medical personnel, add to that a full second set of people to replace the first set after 30 minutes and another 10-15 ready to pull the first 20-25 out in an emergency. Just fighting a fire requires massive amounts of manpower, now consider that the rest of the district needs to be covered. A paid system wouldn't alleviate dependence on surrounding fire departments.
john lewis January 26, 2013 at 07:13 PM
john lewis January 26, 2013 at 07:13 PM
next time b4 shooting your mouth off try doing this


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