Nearly 70 people were left without housing when a predawn blaze Monday ripped through an Oceanside building, the American Red Cross and fire officials said.
Firefighters from eight Nassau County departments were able to contain the fire on Long Beach Road to the building of origin, according to Oceanside Fire Department Chief John T. Madden.
A spokesman for the Red Cross of Greater New York, Michael de Vulpillieres, said 14 apartments were “damaged or destroyed” by the fire, affecting 68 residents — including 19 children. There were no reported injuries, Nassau County police and fire officials said.
The Red Cross said teams at the scene were handing out food, water and blankets to residents. The organization also provided temporary housing at local hotels for 13 families.
The fire, which began in a building housing the D&D Convenience store, was reported in a 911 call just after 4 a.m. The row of storefronts is at Long Beach Road and West Windsor Parkway.
“We started out with a heavy offensive attack trying to get in there to put the fire out, and it was just too much,” Madden said. “We ended up having to pull back. We did manage to contain it to the original fire building and keep it in the convenience store and the apartment above it.”
“We started out trying to attack the fire from the inside, but the roof had collapsed about 25 feet inside the building, so we pulled out and hit it from the outside,” Madden said. “We managed to confine it to the original building, and it took us about two hours to get it under control.”
Responding firefighters came from Oceanside, Freeport, Rockville Centre, East Rockaway, Long Beach, Island Park, Point Lookout and Lido Beach, according to officials.
The fire caused the rear of the convenience store and the apartment above it to collapse, Madden said. When he and other firefighters arrived at the scene, there was “heavy fire coming out of the second floor from the back of the building, that was spreading down to the first floor.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, Madden said.
In a statement, Nassau police said the fire “does not appear to be suspicious at this time.”
With Gary Dymski