Ambulance roofs blown off by tank explosions, says fire official

A fire official says an electrical problem with one of the vehicles most likely caused three ambulances parked at a company lot in Inwood to catch fire on May 2, 2014. Firefighters were cautious because of highly flammable oxygen tanks on each of the ambulances and three of those tanks exploded, taking off the roofs of each of the vehicles. (Credit: Jim Staubitser)

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An electrical problem with one of the vehicles most likely caused three ambulances parked at a company lot in Inwood to catch fire early Friday, a fire official said.

Guy Marino, first assistant chief of the Inwood Fire Department, said firefighters responded to a call at 455 Bayview Ave. just after 3:30 a.m.

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When firefighters arrived, they found three ambulances at First Response Ambulance's lot "fully involved," Marino said.

"Investigators seem to think an electrical issue on one of the vehicles started the fire and caused the other ambulances to catch fire," Marino said.

No one was injured, but firefighters were cautious because of highly flammable oxygen tanks on each of the ambulances. Three of those tanks exploded, Marino said, taking off the roof of each of the vehicles.

Sam Mezrahi, identified by News 12 Long Island as the owner of First Response Ambulance, told the station that three ambulances were "fully damaged" and two others had minor damage. He said the company operates about 28 ambulances.

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