Fire Rips Through Medical Building

By Arielle Dollinger


Internist Stanley W. Tokar was at the hospital making rounds when he heard the sound of fire engines.

“I didn’t think much of it,” he said. And then he found out that the fire was at 175 East Main St.: the building of his office and the offices of other medical professionals.

Firefighters from Halesite, Huntington, Huntington Manor, Centerport and Greenlawn responded to the fire on June 23, just before 8:30 p.m. Twelve trucks, around 100 firefighters and an hour and a half later, the fire was under control, fire officials said. As officials worked to put out the fire, they closed Route 25A in both directions.

There were no reported injuries, fire officials said; nobody was in the two-story building at the time of the fire. According to Halesite Fire Chief Dan McConnell, the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

“It was a serious fire,” McConnell said. “It was a tremendous effort by firefighters to contain it to just a portion of the building.”

The fire itself damaged an estimated six of the building’s second-floor offices, but the entire building suffered damage, he said.

“It looked to be fire damage to 25 percent of the building, and then there was water and smoke damage to parts of the rest of the building,” McConnell said.

Tokar’s office is closed indefinitely. After the fire, the office was without electricity, water and telephone service. Several days later, half of the office has electricity; the other half does not.

“I don’t think I’ll be opening for at least another week or so,” Tokar said. “If I’m lucky.”

The lack of phone service was “a disaster,” he said. One patient had to go to the emergency room; one patient needed medication that the office could not get.

Tokar said that he plans to reopen at the same location – the location in which he has held his practice for about 20 years – but cannot book any appointments right now.

“We don’t know when the office is going to open,” he said.

On Wednesday, a recorded message said that the office of Cohen, Bergman, Klepper and Romano was “closed due to a fire.”

Also according to a recording on Wednesday, the office of Bernardini, Vomero, Anselmi and Anwar was to be closed June 25 and 26 “due to a fire in the office,” and would reopen on June 27.

The Cold Spring Harbor and Melville fire departments provided standby assistance.