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2016-09-21 / Front Page

Community effort underway to help families displace by major fire

By Carolyn James

The Amityville community is coming together to help 11 families who were displaced from their homes as a result of a major fire at their apartment complex Mon., Sept. 19. While there were no injuries to firefighters or residents, 33 adults and children lost everything in the blaze.

No sooner had word spread about the fire than did residents, school officials and the Red Cross got involved.

Amityville School Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly posted on Facebook that 11 students were affected and that Sandra Parmentier will be heading up the collections for these nine families. Anyone interested in helping can contact Parmetier at 631-565-6552.

“As you can imagine, these families and children have been completely devastated by this fire,” said Kelly. “Those who didn't lose all to the fire, lost it to the smoke and water that ensued.

Kelly said  that she knows that the district has asked for help before and that the community has always come through. “I ask you again for that love and support,” she said. “Our community is so amazing and you are all the reason that is so.”

The fire broke out at approximately 8:30 p.m. at the Amityville Square Apartments on Great Neck Road, Amityville.

North Amityville Fire Chief John Harley was first on the scene.

“When I pulled up I saw flames coming out of the roof and a window,” said NAFCo Fire Chief John Harley.  The fire was confined to one section of the building and firefighters, who arrived within three minutes of Harley’s calling in a working fire, began to evacuate the residents.

There were no  injuries to residents or firefighters and a dog was safely evacuated.

There are 12 apartments in the building.

Harley said the challenge for the volunteers was to contain the blaze, which was skipping over the firewalls in the  loft area of the building, spreading to other apartments.

“We had to trap the fire so we could contain it and put it out,” he said.

He reports that there was enough water supply and that it took approximately one and a half hours to extinguish the blaze. NAFCo was assisted by East Farmingdale, Farmingdale Village and Amityville Village, each of which, provided a ladder truck.

“We definitely appreciate them being there,” said Harley. “Those trucks were instrumental in helping us contain the fire and attack it from the ceiling.”

Also on hand were Copiague and Wheatley Heights volunteers who provided emergency medical personnel in the event anyone was injured.

“We were fortunate that the fire broke out when it did,” said Harley. “We were conducting some training (drills), and were able to get out and to the scene quickly.”

The firefighters were able to leave the scene by 11:30 p.m.

Also at the scene was the Red Cross, which was able to meet with the families impacted by the fire in the NAFCo headquarters and provide them with emergency housing. “The Red Cross teams provided temporary lodging for 11 families or 33 residents, and emergency funds for basic necessities such as food and clothing” said Michael de Vulpillieres, a spokesman for the ARC Greater NY Region.

S.C. Leg. DuWayne Gregory is also accepting donations at his office, 15 Albany Ave., Amityville as is NYS Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, 640 West Montauk Hwy., Lindenhurst.



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