Residents in three homes were evacuated and one firefighter sustained minor injuries in frigid temperatures battling a blaze early Friday in Long Beach, authorities said.
The residential fire on the 500 block of Beech Street was reported in a 911 call at 1:21 a.m., the Long Beach Fire Department said. The site is near Franklin Boulevard.
According to the Long Beach Fire Department's official Facebook page, the first units on the scene found "a working fire" with a home that was "fully involved." A third alarm was promptly issued.
Fire officials said all residents were safely evacuated.
Officials also said that because of "extreme cold weather" firefighting operations soon became "extremely difficult."
One resident, Bob Brennan, said that firefighters came knocking on his door.
"They told us to evacuate, and then it spread," Brennan said of the fast-moving fire.
At about 3 a.m. Brennan and other residents waited in the 10-degree cold to get the all clear from authorities and go inside. Long Beach Fire Department officials would not comment on how the fire started, but said the cause was under investigation by the Nassau County fire marshal.
Fire departments from across the South Shore of Nassau County responded to assist with firefighting operations, the Long Beach department said.
The Long Beach firefighter who was injured was taken to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside for treatment, the department said.
Nearly two hours after it began, the fire continued to burn but was more smoldering embers than the wind-whipped flames from an hour earlier, said Jeff Leibowitz, a resident of the area who first watched the blaze from his home and then the street. Leibowitz said he could see several dozen firefighters and emergency vehicles on the scene -- adding that East Beech Street and Franklin Boulevard were closed near where the fire started.
"The house is totally demolished," Leibowitz said. "They are not letting anyone in here."
With John Valenti