By Andrew Wroblewski
As some gathered for breakfast, gift giving and celebration this past Mother’s Day, one East Northport family counted its blessings after escaping from a raging fire.
A couple, along with their 4-month-old twins, escaped unharmed on Sunday at approximately 10 a.m. as a fire engulfed part of their Cordell Place home, East Northport Fire Department Chief Wayne Kaifler Jr. said.
“Thankfully the homeowner called the department directly and that prompted a quick response,” Kaifler said.
Most typically call 911 in the case of an emergency, Kaifler said, but the family – whose last name he would not release – called the fire department directly and prompted a response of 50 firefighters from the East Northport, Commack and Kings Park departments. The firefighters utilized seven trucks to bring the blaze under control within 20 minutes, fire officials said.
The fire, which originated in the attached garage of the home, was under investigation by the Suffolk Police Arson Squad and Huntington Fire Marshal, but police confirmed on Monday that a cause for the fire was “undetermined.”
From the garage, the fire spread to the kitchen and living room, as aided by propane gas, which was slowly released from tanks that were outside of the garage. The gas, which was exhausted from the tanks by a release valve that triggers when temperatures rise, Kaifler said, allowed the fire to spread, but the chief was thankful they did not explode and commended the firefighters’ efforts.
“They did a great job of reducing the amount of damage done to the house,” he said.
As the blaze took its toll and the remainder of the home sustained smoke damage, A.J. Carter, town spokesman, said on Tuesday that the home has been placarded and was unsafe for occupancy.
Kaifler and First Assistant Chief Dan Heffernan led the fire crews and the East Northport Rescue Squad supplied three ambulances and a paramedic unit on the scene for emergency medical services. The Northport Fire Department and a Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps provided standby coverage for East Northport during the alarm.