Michael MacNeill identified as man killed in Port Washington explosion, fire

One person died, five firefighters were injured, and a woman and child narrowly escaped after an explosion and fast-moving fire tore through a Port Washington home Tuesday night, authorities said early Wednesday. (Credit: News 12 Chopper)

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A man killed when a Port Washington garage blew up on Aug. 5 was officially identified by Nassau County police on Wednesday.

Michael MacNeill, 48, of Port Washington, was identified as the victim by the county Medical Examiner's office through DNA, according to a news release.

A police source close to the investigation previously told Newsday the victim argued with his estranged wife before using a flammable liquid to intentionally trigger the blast.

The husband and wife earlier had been identified by the source as MacNeill and Angela Nisi-MacNeill, 39.

They had argued before Nisi-MacNeill and the couple's 2-year-old daughter escaped the home on Prospect Avenue moments before a detached garage exploded, the source and police said.

The explosion, which jolted much of the waterfront hamlet, came shortly after Port Washington police officers arrived in response to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance from the residence, Port Washington police said.

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The officers smelled gas and were evacuating the woman and child from the home when a "detached garage exploded and burst into flames," Nassau police said in a statement.

Four firefighters and a Port Washington police officer sustained minor injuries, Nassau police said.

The body was found in the charred rubble of the garage, officials said.

Brian Waterson, assistant chief with the Port Washington Fire Department, said officials believe the blaze was "intentionally set with some sort of accelerant" and the garage exploded as the officers "were walking down the driveway."

The fire destroyed the garage and another structure at a neighboring house, Waterson said. A damaged home on Second Avenue abutting the back yard of the blast site was also condemned, he said.

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